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Most manufacturing industries experienced labor productivity declines in 2019

July 01, 2020

Labor productivity declines were widespread among manufacturing industries in 2019, with decreases in 54 of the 86 industries studied.

Percent change in productivity, selected industries
Industry 1-year percent change, 2019 Average annual percent change, 1987–2019


5.4% 1.5%


0.6 0.7

Beverages and tobacco products

-1.4 -0.6

Textile mills

-2.3 2.5

Textile product mills

-4.3 0.2


-0.7 -0.3

Leather and allied products

-9.8 0.6


0.0 1.5

Printing and related support activities

-2.6 1.1

Petroleum and coal products

-4.2 1.9


-3.4 1.0

Plastics and rubber products

-1.9 1.4

Wood products

-3.5 0.8

Nonmetallic mineral products

-1.0 0.7

Primary metals

-0.8 2.0

Fabricated metal products

-0.1 0.9


-1.2 1.7

Computer and electronic products

-0.8 8.4

Electrical equipment and appliances

0.2 1.7

Transportation equipment

-1.5 2.4

Furniture and related products

-0.3 1.3

Miscellaneous manufacturing

-0.5 1.7

Of the 51 industries in durable manufacturing, 31 had productivity decreases in 2019 led by a 7.8 percent decline in the productivity of the HVAC and commercial refrigeration equipment industry. Nondurable manufacturing also had widespread declines in 2019 with productivity falling in 23 of 35 industries, led by a 13.1-percent decline in the other leather products industry. All four industries in the mining sector posted productivity declines in 2019 led by the coal mining industry with a decrease of 6.6 percent.

Over the entire 1987–2019 period, labor productivity rose in 83 of the 91 manufacturing and mining industries studied. Output rose in 58 industries, while hours worked increased in only 17. In the 17 industries where hours worked increased, they rose at a slow pace, 0.7 percent per year on average.

These data are from the Labor Productivity and Costs program. Data are preliminary and may be revised. To learn more, see "Productivity and Costs by Industry: Manufacturing and Mining Industries — 2019." To learn more about labor productivity, see Productivity 101. We also have  more charts related to this news release.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Most manufacturing industries experienced labor productivity declines in 2019 at (visited July 21, 2024).

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