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October 1984, Vol. 107, No. 10
Apparel stores display
Output per hour of all persons1 in the retail apparel store industry increased at an average annual rate of 2.9 percent between 1967 and 1983, compared with an average annual rate of 1.2 percent for the total nonfarm business sector of the economy during the same period. This gain in productivity over the 16-year period reflects average annual increases of 4.5 percent in output and 1.5 percent in hours of all persons in the apparel store industry. (See table 1.)
Productivity trends can be divided into two periods, 1967-77 and 1977-83. During the first period, productivity rose at an average annual rate of 2.8 percent, and in the latter period, it accelerated to 3.6 percent, reflecting average growth in output and little increase in hours.
During the 1967-77 period, productivity advances were not steady; in 1972 and 1973, there were relatively large increases. In 1972, productivity rose 8.2 percent as output increased 6.3 percent and hours declined 1.8 percent. In 1973, output advanced 11.3 percent, while hours increased only 1.7 percent, resulting in a productivity increase of 9.5 percent. However, there were moderate productivity declines in 1967, 1970, 1974, 1976, and 1977. Output experienced only two declines during the period, falling in the recession years of 1970 and 1974. In 1969, 1976, and 1977, increases in hours exceeded increases in output, resulting in the productivity falloffs.
During the 1977-83 period, there were no productivity declines, and only one small output decline in 1982. In 1978, output per hour rose 10.0 percent based on very strong growth in output of 13.4 percent and moderate gains in hours of 3.1 percent. Output recorded moderate growth in 1980 and above-average growth in 1981 (6.1 percent), while industry hours declined in 1980 and 1982. Productivity had above-average gains in 1980 and 1981.
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1 All average rates of change are based on the linear least squares trends of the logarithms of the index numbers.
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