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What is up with the gdp-less recovery?

That is what people are calling it, although I would not use that term.  Jon Hilsenrath has the best overview I have seen, here is one excerpt:

Robert Gordon, a Northwestern University professor who tracks productivity closely, says he sees “clear signs everywhere” that a productivity slowdown is happening. Last year, productivity—measured as the output of workers for every hour they work—grew just 0.4% and has grown at a 0.9% annual rate over the past seven quarters. Productivity did spurt higher in 2009—during this stretch of fear-induced firing—but over a longer stretch it shows additional signs of slowing. Worker productivity has grown at an annual rate of 1.7% since 2004, down from 2.6% growth in the decade before that.

Mr. Gordon agrees with Ms. Romer’s overfiring story. But he says the longer-run threat to productivity shouldn’t be overlooked. “The productivity numbers have been dismal,” he says. That is an explanation this fragile economy can do without and that policy makers shouldn’t ignore.

To view the full article please click here.



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