Skip to navigationSkip to content

American workers are less productive and better compensated than we thought

Reuters/Mark Makela
Less productive than they look?
By Melvin Backman
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics revised its fourth-quarter figures for productivity—economic output divided by hours worked—indicating Americans weren’t as productive as they looked at first blush. In fact, the numbers were a letdown versus the initial estimates for the entire second half of 2014.

But the news from the BLS today is better than it sounds. Although output got revised down, compensation is rising faster than previously thought.

And since sluggish wages have been such a sticking point for Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, this arguably is another sign that the recovery is finally getting felt in more distant corners of the economy.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.