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Productivity higher in over two-thirds of manufacturing industries

May 16, 2001

In 1999, labor productivity—as measured by output per hour—increased in 70 percent of the manufacturing industries measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Output rose in 61 percent of the industries, while hours of labor increased in 33 percent of the industries.

Proportion of measured manufacturing industries with increases in labor productivity, output, and hours of labor, 1998-99
[Chart data—TXT]

Four out of the five largest manufacturing industries, those with more than 500,000 employees, recorded growth in output per hour in 1999. Of these, the largest labor productivity gain occurred in electronic components and accessories with an increase of 39.3 percent followed by a 9.0-percent increase in motor vehicles and equipment; a 5.5-percent increase in miscellaneous plastics products, not elsewhere classified; and a 4.8-percent increase in commercial printing. Labor productivity declined by 0.1 percent in meat products manufacturing.

This information is from the BLS Industry Productivity Program. Data are subject to revision. Industries discussed in this article are at the 3-digit level of the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Manual. Learn more in "Productivity and Costs: Manufacturing Industries, 1990-99" news release USDL 01-141.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Productivity higher in over two-thirds of manufacturing industries at (visited June 14, 2024).

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