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April 1984, Vol. 107, No. 4
Meatpacking and prepared meats industry: above-average productivity gainsRichard B. Carnes
New products and packaging have encouraged industry restructuring and new technology in the red meat products industry1 and helped boost productivity. Between 1967 and 1982, productivity (as measured by output per hour) increased at an average annual rate of 2.8 percent and from 1976 forward, the rate accelerated to 3.2 percent. In contrast, the comparable figures for all manufacturing industries were lower, 2.4 and 1.6 percent. The productivity growth for the meatpacking and prepared meats industry resulted from an annual increase in output of 2.2 percent and a decline in employee hours of 0.6 percent. (See table 1.)
As with many industries, year-to-year changes in productivity are often closely associated with changes in output. For the red meat products industry, 5 of the 6 years in which output declined were also years in which productivity decreased. Similarly, when output jumped 21 percent in 1976 and 1977, there was an increase in productivity of more than 18 percent.
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1 The red meat products industry makes up part of meat products which is designated as SIC 201 in the Standard Industrial Classification Manuel 1972 and its 1977 supplement, issued by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. Meatpacking plans, SIC 2011, are composed of establishments primarily engaged in the slaughtering, for their own account or on a contract basis for the trade, of cattle, hogs, sheep, lambs, and calves for meat to be sold or to be used on the same premises in canning and curing, and in making sausage, lard, and other products. Sausage and other prepared meat products plants, SIC 2013, are composed of establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing sausages, cured meats, smoked casings, and other prepared meats and meat specialties from purchased carcasses and other prepared meats and meat specialties from purchased carcasses and other materials. Sausage kitchens and other prepared meat plants operated by materials. Sausage kitchens and other prepared meat plants operated by packing houses as separate establishments also are included in this industry.
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