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Labor statistics show an increase in productivity by 54% in 2012

U.S Department of Labor
U.S Department of Labor
U.S Department of Labor

According to the Department of Labor, productivity, which is defined as output per hour, rose in 54 percent of the detailed manufacturing industries covered in 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This is down from 68 percent in 2011. Unit labor costs, which reflect the total labor costs required to produce a unit of output, declined in 39 percent of the industry in 2012 compared to 49 percent in 2011. More than half of the industries with productivity increases posted declines in unit labor costs.

Output and hours rose in more industries, in 2012 than in the previous year.
Output rose from 2012 in 40 of 57 NAICS 4-digit manufacturing industries for which data were available, up from 37 industries in 2011. Hours increased in even more industries, 41 compared to 32 in 2011. Hours rose in more industries in 2012 than in any year since 1997.

The latest industry productivity data for manufacturing industries and for industries in other sectors are available on the BLS web site at

The Department of Labor also reported that labor productivity is determined as the relationship between real production and the labor hours involved in its yield. These measures show the changes from period to period in the amount of goods and services produced per hour worked. Although the labor productivity measures relate output in an industry to hours worked of all persons in that industry, they do not measure the specific contribution of labor to growth in output. Rather, they reflect the joint effects of many influences, including changes in technology; capital investment; utilization of capacity, energy, and materials; the use of purchasing services inputs, including contract employment services; the organization of production; managerial skill; in addition to the characteristics and effort of the workforce. (