Cost shares vary among manufacturing industries

July 26, 2001

The shares of input costs going to labor, capital, and intermediate purchases show much variation among manufacturing industries for which BLS publishes data.

Percent distribution of average cost shares in selected industries, 1987-96
[Chart data—TXT]

The share of total costs spent on a particular input is an indicator of how intensively an industry uses that input. An example of a capital intensive industry in the 1987-96 period was the photographic equipment and supplies industry, with a capital share of 48 percent. The petroleum refining industry was intermediate purchases intensive, with 88 percent of costs going to intermediate purchases. Printing trade services, in contrast, was labor intensive, with a labor share of 49 percent.

These data are a product of the BLS Industry Productivity program. Data are subject to revision. Intermediate inputs include materials, fuels, electricity, and services. Additional information is available in "Multifactor productivity trends in manufacturing industries, 1987-96," by Ziaul Z. Ahmed and Patricia S. Wilder, Monthly Labor Review, June 2001.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Cost shares vary among manufacturing industries on the Internet at (visited July 26, 2017).


Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics