September 28, 2011
From 2008 to 2009, among the largest 4-digit NAICS manufacturing industries (those with employment over 200,000), multifactor productivity—defined as output per unit of combined inputs—rose only in electronic instruments, with all of the other large industries showing declines.
Among the largest manufacturing industries, the largest decline in multifactor productivity from 2008 to 2009 was in machine shops and threaded products. The semiconductors and electronic components industry experienced its first decline since 1987, when the series began.
Multifactor productivity increased in only 12 of the 86 four-digit NAICS manufacturing industries in 2009, which was down from 2008, when it increased in 36 of those 86 industries. Fewer manufacturing industries recorded multifactor productivity increases in 2009 than in any year since 1987.
Output fell in 79 of 86 manufacturing industries in 2009, compared with 66 in 2008; output declined by double-digit percentages in 68 industries. Combined inputs fell in 72 industries in 2009, compared with 70 in 2008. Labor hours fell in all but one manufacturing industry, while intermediate inputs fell in 73 industries and capital services fell in 47 industries.
These data are from the Multifactor Productivity program. To learn more, see "Multifactor Productivity Trends for Detailed Industries, 2009," news release USDL-11-1376 (HTML) (PDF). Multifactor productivity growth measures the extent to which output has grown faster than measured inputs and reflects the joint influences on economic growth of a number of factors, including technological change, returns to scale, improved skills of the workforce, better management techniques, or other efficiency improvements.