Manufacturing sector labor productivity decreased 2.2 percent in the second quarter of 2019, according to a new report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Output decreased 3.0 percent and hours worked declined 0. 8 percent. This is the second consecutive quarter with declines in both output and hours in the manufacturing sector; in the first quarter of 2019 output declined 1.8 percent and hours declined 2.9 percent. This is the first occurrence of two consecutive quarters of declines in both output and hours in manufacturing since the second quarter of 2009.
Productivity declined 0.6 percent in the durable manufacturing sector in the second quarter of 2019, reflecting a 1.9-percent decrease in output and a 1.4-percent decrease in hours worked. Productivity decreased 4.4 percent in the nondurable manufacturing sector as output fell 4.2 percent and hours worked rose 0.1 percent. Over the last four quarters, total manufacturing sector productivity was unchanged, as output increased 0.2 percent and hours worked increased 0.1 percent. Unit labor costs in the manufacturing sectorincreased 6.7 percent in the second quarter of 2019, and increased 4.5 percent from the same quarter a year ago.