Productivity Continues Its Slide

I’m glad to see wages and benefits rising (even in meager percentages), but without a corresponding rise in productivity we are heading towards an inflationary spiral.

Growth in worker productivity slowed sharply in the summer while wages and benefits rose at a rate that was far below a previous estimate.

Productivity, the key ingredient to rising living standards, edged up at an 0.2 percent annual rate in the July-September quarter. That was better than the zero change that was first reported, but it was below analysts’ expectation for a slightly stronger 0.5 percent increase.


The 0.2 percent growth rate for productivity followed a much stronger 1.2 percent increase in the spring and was the weakest performance since a 0.1 percent decline in productivity growth in the final three months of last year, a time when the economy was being buffeted by the effects of a string of Gulf Coast hurricanes.

2 thoughts on “Productivity Continues Its Slide

  1. Has there not been, within the past few years, significant growth in productivity without corresponding increases in compensation?
    And if so, how much compensation growth could we enjoy before inflation rears its ugly head?
    I don’t have time to research these questions at the moment, so consider them actual as opposed to rhetorical. Thanks!

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