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Increased Hours of Effort - 5/6/16

More than one hundred and fifty one million Americans are employed, a number that has expanded sharply over the past several years.  Collectively, Americans are also working more hours.  As indicated by writer Neil Irwin, the number of hours of effort supplied by Americans grew one point nine percent during the twelve month period ending this March. 

New data released indicate that gross domestic product during the first quarter of this year was one point nine percent greater than output generated during last year’s first quarter.  This means that despite continuous advances in software, equipment and management practices, productivity is not expanding in America. 

In other words, we are generating the same amount of output per hour worked as we did this time last year.  This may simply be a statistical aberration.  Productivity data are notoriously volatile.  But as pointed out by Irwin, between two thousand and eleven and twenty fifteen, the government’s official labor productivity measure indicates only zero point four percent annual growth in output per hour of work. 

That the lowest for a five year span since the nineteen seventy seven to nineteen eight two period.  When productivity growth is slow, wage growth also tends to be soft.   

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.