Friday, May 30, 2014

US Businesses Produced 42 Percent More In 2013 Using The Same Amount Of Labor As In 1998

From The Bureau of Labor Statistics, Beyond the Numbers, "What can labor productivity tell us about the U.S. economy?" by Shawn Sprague:
This fact might strike some as surprising: workers in the U.S. business sector worked virtually the same number of hours in 2013 as they had in 1998—approximately 194 billion labor hours. What this means is that there was ultimately no growth at all in the number of hours worked over this 15-year period, despite the fact that the U.S population gained over 40 million people during that time, and despite the fact that there were thousands of new businesses established during that time.

And given this lack of growth in labor hours, it is perhaps even more striking that American businesses still managed to produce 42 percent—or $3.5 trillion—more output in 2013 than they had in 1998, even after adjusting for inflation.

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