First-Quarter Manufacturing Productivity Lower Than First Report

Although the first-quarter productivity increase in the manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy was lower than initially reported, it still outpaced productivity growth in the larger nonfarm business portion of the economy.

Productivity growth in manufacturing was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.8% in the January-through-March quarter, four-tenths of a percentage point less than the 4.2% reported on May 4, the U.S. Labor Department said on June 1. In the nonfarm business sector productivity grew at a 3.7% seasonally adjusted annual rate.

Within the manufacturing sector, first-quarter output per hour was revised downward for both durable goods and non-durable goods producers.

According to the departments revised figures, productivity increased 3.5% among durable goods producers, with output growing 5.2% and hours increasing 1.6% in the first quarter of 2006. Among producers of non-durables, productivity rose 3.7% as output increased 6.7% and hours worked increased 2.9%.

Unit labor costs in manufacturing fell 1.9% during the first quarterdown 3.1% among producers of non-durable goods and nine-tenths of a percent among durable goods producers.
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