America’s Falling Productivity

Interesting article on how America suffers from a supply shortfall.
They estimate that GDP likely rose 1.6% in America between Q2 2013 and Q2 2014 yet the unemployment rate fell 1.3 percentage points.

Yet the reality is even worse than they suggest. If GDP only rose 1.6% then this suggests a drop in productivity as employment increased 1.9%. And with population growth also slowing this means that potential growth is lower than ever.

This also implies that the fear that “machines will take our jobs” seems unwarranted for the time being. If that happened, productivity growth would accelerate, not come to a halt.



  1. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition. The Internet
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  2. Would the trend towards decreasing hours per worker, due to the Obamacare legislation that requires health care benefits to full time employees, be the most logical explanation for this trend?

    More people are “employed” but they are working less per person, hence you have more people doing the same work that fewer people did before in order for employers to avoid the cost of ACA compliance?

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