March 10, 2000
In the fourth quarter of 1999, productivity in the manufacturing sector —as measured by output per hour of all persons—rose at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 10.3 percent. The fourth-quarter productivity increase was the largest since the second quarter of 1982. On an annual basis, manufacturing productivity rose 6.4 percent in 1999, marking 20 consecutive years of labor productivity increases in this sector.
Manufacturing output increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.6 percent in the last quarter of 1999. In contrast, hours of all persons dropped 3.3 percent.
Double-digit productivity growth rates occurred in both of the manufacturing subsectors in the last quarter. In durable goods, productivity increased 10.8 percent in the fourth quarter, as output grew 6.6 percent and hours of all persons fell 3.7 percent. In nondurable goods, productivity grew 10.0 percent, reflecting a 7.1 percent rise in output and a 2.7 percent decline in hours.
These data are a product of the BLS Quarterly Labor Productivityprogram. Data in this article are revised from the figures originally released on February 8, 2000, and are subject to further revision. Additional information is available in "Productivity and Costs, Fourth Quarter and Annual Averages, 1999," news release USDL 00-64.