Productivity Slumps In Second Quarter; Manufacturing Looks Stronger

Compiled By Jill Jusko U.S. productivity in the non-farm business sector grew at an annual rate of 1.1% in the second quarter, shows preliminary figures released by the U.S. Department of Labor Aug. 9. That's down from a revised 8.6% annual rate during the January-through-March period. Meanwhile, the manufacturing sector showed much stronger growth in productivity --measured as the output per hour by all persons -- increasing at a 4.9% annual rate. Output improved in manufacturing by 4.1% while hours of all persons declined by 0.8%. In the previous quarter, manufacturing productivity grew at a revised 9.7% annual rate, reflecting a 3% increase in output and a 6.1% drop in hours. The results were no surprise to Jerry Jasinowski, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, Washington, who said the previous quarter's numbers were unsustainable. "Still, today's numbers represent a continuing trend of strong productivity growth in manufacturing." "As usual, manufacturing continues to outstrip other sectors in productivity gains," he notes.

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