Labor productivity and unit labor costs among manufacturing industries, 2011

March 28, 2013

Labor productivity—defined as output per hour—increased in 13 of 21 manufacturing industries in 2011. Output increased in 16 of these industries, and hours declined in 10. Unit labor costs fell in 10 of 21 manufacturing industries in 2011.


Percent change in output per hour and unit labor costs, NAICS 3-digit manufacturing industries, 2010-2011

Percent change in output per hour and unit labor costs, NAICS 3-digit manufacturing industries, 2010–2011
3-digit manufacturing industryOutput per hour(p)Unit labor costs(p)2011 employment level

Textile product mills




Electrical equipment and appliances


Printing and related support activities


Computer and electronic products


Paper and paper products


Nonmetallic mineral products


Petroleum and coal products


Fabricated metal products


Transportation equipment




Wood products






Furniture and related products


Leather and allied products


Plastics and rubber products


Miscellaneous manufacturing


Textile mills


Primary metals


Beverage and tobacco products


(p) preliminary.

Among manufacturing industries in 2011, productivity rose fastest in textile product mills (6.6 percent), where output increased despite a drop in hours. Only 3 of the 21 industries registered greater productivity growth, or smaller productivity declines, than in the previous year.

In 2011, unit labor costs declined more frequently in manufacturing industries where productivity rose, as productivity gains offset increases in hourly compensation. Unit labor costs fell in 9 of the 13 industries where productivity rose.

These data are from the Labor Productivity and Costs program. The productivity measures reflect data classified according to the 2007 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). The industry comparisons shown here are at the three-digit level of the six-digit NAICS coding structure. All of the measures for 2011 are preliminary and subject to revision. To learn more, see "Productivity and Costs by Industry: Manufacturing Industries, 2011" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL‑13‑0478.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Labor productivity and unit labor costs among manufacturing industries, 2011 on the Internet at (visited October 01, 2016).


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