While productivity grew at a 3.6% annual rate in the manufacturing sector during the first quarter of 2008, it represented a 1.2% decrease in output and a 4.7% decrease in hours, as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor on June 4.
This was the largest decline in hours since a 6.3% drop in the third quarter of 2003.
Output per hour rose at the highest rate in three years, 5.7%, in nondurable goods industries during the first quarter; hours fell by 6.9% and output declined 1.6%.
Total manufacturing productivity grew 4% from the first quarter of 2007 to the first quarter of 2008.
Hourly compensation in manufacturing grew 7.9% during the first quarter of 2008. Real hourly compensation, which takes into account changes in consumer prices, increased 3.5% for all manufacturing workers, as a 3.1% rise in durable manufacturing real hourly compensation combined with a 4.0% rise in the nondurable goods industries.