Understanding US Productivity Trends from The Bottom-Up

Understanding US Productivity Trends from The Bottom-Up. Brookings Institution. Joseph Parilla and Mark Muro. March 15, 2017

As the U.S. economy continues to chug along towards full employment, the nation’s slowing growth in labor productivity – the amount of goods and services a worker produces per hour of work – is a lingering economic concern, as it remains a critical source of prosperity. Since 2004, productivity has been expanding at its slowest clip in the post-war era. While there is broad acknowledgement that the slowdown is occurring, its causes—from declining breakthroughs in major technologies, to inefficiencies in major sectors like education, healthcare, and housing, to simply a mismeasurement issue—remain the subject of much debate.
What is missing from this debate, however, is a serious exploration of productivity growth at the local level. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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