Feds report rise in productivity, predict workforce decline

January 13, 2016 - 06:00pm

Labor productivity in the manufacturing sector increased at a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.1 percent during the third quarter of 2015—the largest gain recorded since a 6.1 percent increase during the third quarter of 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Output increased 3.2 percent while hours worked decreased 1.8 percent.

During the same period, the bureau reported, manufacturing unit labor costs rose 2.3 percent, productivity increased 1.5 percent, output climbed 2 percent and hours worked nudged upward 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, as labor force growth slows, the overall labor force participation rate is projected to decrease from 62.9 percent in 2014 to 60.9 percent in 2024, the bureau noted in a separate news release issued Dec. 8, 2015. BLS attributes the labor force slowdown to an expected increase in the number of people within the workforce entering prime retirement age.

BLS projected manufacturing employment to decline at a 0.7 percent rate annually during the same timeframe. The drop, however, was described as more moderate than the 1.6 percent decline recorded during the prior decade, according to the bureau.

BLS based its projections on several assumptions, including a 5.2 percent unemployment rate in 2024 and a labor productivity growth of 1.8 percent annually through 2024.



Dennis, who served as electronic media editor at Cutting Tool Engineering from January 2007 through May 2018, is now the owner and publisher of the magazine and CTE Publications Inc. Dennis holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northern Illinois University, and has more than 40 years of media experience.




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