How Productive Are Glass and Glazing Manufacturers?

Manufacturers in the glass and glazing industry saw a decline in labor productivity in 2016, according to™ analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data. For perspective, only 31 of the 90 manufacturing and mining industries in the report increased productivity for the year.

The glass and glass products category, as well as architectural and structural metals, recorded decreases in labor productivity from 2015 to 2016. They both also faced an increase in labor unit costs during that span.

However, their labor productivity increased annually on average over the last two decades, while labor unit costs were only up slightly. Increases were shown in these measurements for 85 and 79 industries, respectively, of the 90 listed.

According to the BLS, labor productivity describes the relationship between real output and the labor hours involved in its production. Unit labor costs represent the cost of labor required to produce one unit of output.

The glass and glass products industry, which largely includes flat glass, decreased its hours worked by 2 percent in 2016 but saw a larger 2.7-percent dip in output. From 1987-2016, output increased annually by an average of 0.4 percent per year, while hours worked declined 1.6 percent.

Unit labor costs in this segment jumped 8.7 percent for the year, as labor compensation was up 5.8 percent. Over the 20-year period, unit labor costs were up just 0.8 percent annually with a 1.2-percent yearly increase in labor compensation.

The architectural and structural metals industry, which includes glazing systems and other related products, recorded a 6.2-percent decline in output for the year despite a slight 0.4-percent decrease in hours worked. For the 20 years ending in 2016, output increased by 0.7 percent annually as hours worked saw a 0.3-percent bump.

Unit labor costs in the industry spiked 9.9 percent as labor compensation increased 3.1 percent. Over the two-decade span, unit labor costs ticked up 2.4 percent annually while labor compensation increased 3 percent yearly.

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