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October 1982, Vol. 105, No. 10
Hand and edge tools industry
experience slow rise in productivity
Mary K. Farris and James D. York
Despite the growing do-it-yourself market and the introduction of new technology, productivity growth has been sluggish in the manufacture of wrenches, hammers, axes, files, and other hand and edge tools. During the 23-year period ended in 1980, output per employee hour increased at less than half the annual rate of all manufacturing.
This modest productivity rise in the hand and edge tools industry stems from the very gradual nature of technological improvements. These improvements have been characterized by increases in equipment speed and the continued introduction of automated controls.
As measured by output per employee hour, productivity in the industry grew at an average annual rate of only 1.3 percent during 1958-80, compared with 2.8 percent for all manufacturing.1 Output increased at a rate of 3.3 percent and employee hours, by 2.0 percent, (See table 1.)
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1 The hand and edge tool industry is composed of establishments primarily engaged in the manufacture of files and other hand and edge tools for metalworking, and general maintenance. The industry is designated as SIC 3423 in the Standard Industrial Classification Manual, 1972. Establishments primarily engaged in the manufacture of saws are classified in industry 3425 and power-driven hand tools in 3546. All average annual rates of change are based on the linear least squares trends of the logarithms of the index numbers. Extension of the indexes will appear in the annual BLS Bulletin, Productivity Measures for Selected Industries.
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