The objective of this chapter is to discuss U.S. workforce productivity in manufacturing industries and reveal how it has changed over the years as workweeks have shortened.

Traditionally, the labor term describes unskilled manual work. The modern definition of productivity, however, has evolved to include the contributions of all skilled and unskilled workers who earn wages. Labor productivity is the amount of goods and services that a worker produces in a given unit of time and indicates resourcefulness in an industry.