New Labor Productivity Numbers: The Worst in 35 Years

by Ryan McMaken

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released new data on labor productivity today. During the first quarter of 2016, labor productivity fell 0.5 percent, making the first quarter the third quarter in a row for falling productivity. Prior to the first quarter of this year, labor productivity had not fallen three quarters in a row since 1979 in the lead up to the 1980 recession and the 1981-82 recession.

The only other period with such a long period of declining productivity can be found in 1973 and 1974 in the midst of the 1973-75 recession following the Nixon shock:

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