Human Capital & Careers

Durable Goods Productivity Rises by 10 Percent

Wage gains spike to 9.6 percent.
Ed ZwirnFebruary 7, 2001

Note to CFOs in the manufacturing sector: If it seems like your people are working a lot harder these days, you are not alone.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the productivity of workers engaged in the manufacture of durable goods was a whopping 10 percent higher in the last quarter of 2000 than in the same quarter of 1999.

Overall output by these same workers grew by 7.9 percent during this period, despite a 1.9 percent drop in the number of hours actually worked.

Reflective of the downturn that began to be noted at the end of 2000, actual hours worked throughout manufacturing firms decreased at a 6.6 percent annual rate during the final quarter.

But if fewer workers were essentially producing the same amount of goods late last year, they were at least compensated well for this extra effort: Hourly compensation throughout manufacturing firms increased at an 8.6 percent annual rate during the fourth quarter (5.7 percent, taking changes in consumer prices into account).

For durable goods, this spike was 9.6 percent (or 6.7 percent in “real” terms). The cost of hourly compensation for firms manufacturing non- durables rose 6.8 percent (or 4 percent). For the complete data, click here