Pick-Up in Productivity Is Good News for U.S. Economy

Washington, DC, March 8, 2019-"U.S. worker productivity, an important driver of wage and output growth, is showing glimmers of recovery after years of subdued increases that held back the economy,” reports Sharon Nunn in a Wall Street Journal article titled, “U.S. Worker Productivity Picks Up.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Q4 results on March 7. 

“Output per hour of nonfarm business sector workers grew at a 1.9% annual rate in the fourth quarter and registered the strongest nine-month stretch of growth between April and December since 2010, averaging 2.2% growth during that period last year. It beat the 1.3% average growth registered so far in the expansion and was near a 2.1% post World War II average.

“Productivity growth, along with growth in the labor force, are two key components of overall economic activity. A nation can only produce as much as its overall number of workers are capable of turning out on a regular basis. Worker productivity gains also tend to create a backdrop for rising wages, corporate profits, or both, that don't generate substantial inflation.”