State of Business: The Efficient Economy

Productivity is one of those tricky measurements that make it sound as if men are working harder and harder, when in fact machines may simply have replaced so many people that the work ers left seem more efficient. At any rate, the economy is enjoying a remarkably prolonged rise in productivity. Business men do not like to boast about it open ly, lest unions ask for higher wages or shorter hours, but industrial productivity has been rising some 3.5% annually dur ing the current, 29-month-old upswing in business — far above the nation's long-term average gain of 2.2% a...

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