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May 1997

Productivity in the fabricated plate work industry: 1982-94

James York

Increased use of computer technology in the industry's design and production operations has been an important factor in the advance in productivity. Over the 1982-94 period, labor productivity in the fabricated plate work industry-which manufactures boilers, tanks, and similar products-increased at an average annual rate of 1.8 percent. Although output actually declined by 0.1 percent per year over the period, employee hours declined much more rapidly, at a rate of 1.8 percent per year. The more rapid decline in hours than in output was largely due to technological improvements in the industry.

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