(p. A2) WASHINGTON—U.S. workers’ efficiency improved during the past year at the best pace in nearly a decade, laying groundwork for stronger wage growth and continued economic expansion.
The productivity of nonfarm workers, measured as the output of goods and services for each hour on the job, increased at a 3.6% seasonally adjusted annual rate in the first quarter from the prior three months, the Labor Department said Thursday [May 2, 2019]. From a year earlier, productivity rose 2.4%. That was the best gain year-over-year since the third quarter of 2010, when the economy was just emerging from a deep recession.
Productivity tends to be strong in the early days of an economic cycle. Accelerating improvement nearly 10 years after the recession ended raises hopes that a combination of more efficient workers and Americans rejoining the labor force could provide necessary fuel to extend one of the longest expansions in the post-World War II era.
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(Note: the online version of the story has the date May 2, 2019, and has the title “U.S. Worker Productivity Advances at Best Rate Since 2010.”)