April 03, 2012
Labor productivity—defined as output per hour—increased in 19 of the 21 3-digit NAICS manufacturing industries in 2010. Output increased in 16 of these industries, and hours declined in 11. Unit labor costs fell in 20 of the 3-digit manufacturing industries in 2010.
Labor productivity rose in 83 percent of the 86 detailed manufacturing industries studied in 2010, which was up from 30 percent in 2009. Unit labor costs, which reflect the total labor costs required to produce a unit of output, declined in 73 percent of the industries in 2010, compared with only 21 percent in 2009, as productivity increased more rapidly than hourly compensation.
For many industries, the productivity increases in 2010 were driven by large increases in output coupled with declines or more modest gains in hours. Output rose in 64 of the 86 industries in 2010, and hours rose in 40 of the industries. The number of industries with increases in labor productivity and output was higher in 2010 than in any other year since 2005. The number of industries with increases in hours was higher than in any year since 1997, and the number with declines in unit labor costs was the highest since the series began in 1987.
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). All of the measures for 2010 are preliminary and subject to revision. To learn more, see "Productivity and Costs by Industry: Manufacturing Industries, 2010" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-12-0550.