For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Wednesday, September 25, 2013 USDL-13-1941
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MULTIFACTOR PRODUCTIVITY TRENDS FOR DETAILED INDUSTRIES, 2011
Multifactor productivity -- defined as output per unit of combined inputs -- increased in 55 of the 86
four-digit NAICS manufacturing industries in 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
(See table 1.) This was down from 2010, when multifactor productivity increased in 63 of those
industries. However, more industries recorded increases in multifactor productivity in both 2010 and
2011 than in any year since 2004.
Three manufacturing industries recorded double-digit percent increases in multifactor productivity:
semiconductors and electronic components, other transportation equipment, and electric lighting
Multifactor productivity is measured in two transportation industries. Multifactor productivity increased
1.2 percent in air transportation and decreased 1.6 percent in line-haul railroads.
Multifactor productivity indexes relate the change in real output to the change in the combined inputs of
labor, capital, and intermediate purchases consumed in producing that output. Multifactor productivity
growth measures the extent to which output growth has exceeded the growth in inputs, and reflects the
joint influences on economic growth of a variety of factors that are not specifically accounted for on the
input side, including technological change, returns to scale, enhancements in managerial and staff skills,
changes in the organization of production, and other efficiency improvements.
Fewer 4-digit NAICS industries exhibited increases in output or combined inputs in 2011 compared to
the previous year. Output increased in 54 manufacturing industries in 2011, compared to 60 in 2010.
However, the number of industries where output increased and the number of industries where
combined inputs increased were much higher in 2011 compared to 2009.
Double-digit percent increases in output occurred in 15 industries. Increases in output were particularly
large in turbine and power transmission equipment; metalworking machinery; agriculture, construction,
and mining machinery; railroad rolling stock; and audio and video equipment. Multifactor productivity
rose in each of those industries. Output declined the most in computer and peripheral equipment and in
apparel knitting mills.
For some manufacturing industries, multifactor productivity rose despite falling output, as combined
inputs fell more rapidly. This occurred in 12 of the industries studied, including other transportation
equipment, household appliances, cutlery and handtools, and printing and related support activities.
Combined inputs of capital, labor, and intermediate purchases rose in 47 manufacturing industries in
2011, compared to 54 industries in 2010. Purchases of intermediate inputs rose in 48 industries, labor
hours rose in 51, and capital services rose in 25 industries. Industries with the largest increases in
combined inputs were motor vehicles; audio and video equipment; agriculture, construction and mining
machinery; and turbine and power transmission equipment.
Of the 39 industries where combined inputs fell in 2011, multifactor productivity rose in 31. Within this
group, the largest declines in combined inputs occurred in other transportation equipment and household
appliances. In both industries, the declines in combined inputs were primarily caused by decreases in
Among the largest 4-digit NAICS manufacturing industries (those with employment over 200,000),
multifactor productivity increased the most in semiconductors and electronic components in 2011, as
output increased much more than inputs.
In the air transportation industry, output increased 1.9 percent and combined inputs grew 0.7 percent. In
line-haul railroads output rose 3.8 percent and combined inputs increased 5.5 percent.
Year-to-year movements in industry multifactor productivity may reflect cyclical changes in the
economy as well as long-term trends. Long-term average annual changes in multifactor productivity are,
however, more reliable indicators of historical trends in industry performance.
Between 1987 and 2011, multifactor productivity increased in 49 of 86 manufacturing industries, fewer
than in 2011. (See table 2.) Average annual rates of change in multifactor productivity for most
manufacturing industries ranged between -1.9 and 2.0 percent over the long term.
In contrast, in 2011 multifactor productivity growth rates varied much more among industries. More
industries recorded large productivity increases in 2011 than over the long-term; 40 industries posted
multifactor productivity gains of 2.1 percent or more in 2011.
Table 3 presents the average annual percent changes in multifactor productivity by industry from 1987 to
2011 and for various subperiods. Multifactor productivity increased in more industries between 2009
and 2011 than over any of the previous subperiods shown; the number of industries posting increases in
multifactor productivity in the latest period contrasts sharply with the number during the 2007-2009
From 1987 to 2011 multifactor productivity rose for both transportation industries. Multifactor
productivity in air transportation grew at an average annual rate of 1.3 percent during this period, as
output increased more than combined inputs. In line-haul railroads, multifactor productivity increased at
an average of 1.9 percent per year as output rose and combined inputs was little changed over the period.
The industries included in this release are classified according to the 2007 NAICS. While the rates of
change reported by BLS in this news release are rounded to one decimal place, all industry productivity
percent changes are calculated using index numbers rounded to three decimal places.
This news release incorporates 2011 data and revisions to 2010 data from the Annual Survey of
Manufactures published by the Census Bureau. This news release also incorporates the annual benchmark
revisions of the BLS Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey published in February, 2013. All of
the measures for 2011 in this release are preliminary and subject to revision.
Measures for the air transportation industry in this news release include, for the first time, an improved
labor input series which relies on employment and hours from the CES program and hours from the
Current Population Survey (CPS) to supplement employment data from the Department of
Transportation (DOT). In addition, the capital measures for some assets in this industry are now, for the
first time, based on a more detailed breakdown of equipment and structures assets from the Bureau of
Economic Analysis (BEA). These revisions affect the air transportation measures for the full period
Industry multifactor productivity and related indexes and rates can be accessed by visiting the
Multifactor Productivity and Costs website at http://www.bls.gov/mfp. Additional data are available
upon request by calling the Division of Industry Productivity Studies at 202-691-5618 or by sending a
request by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Information in this report will be made available to sensory-
impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5618; TDD message referral phone number: 1-
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