Chris Brady cdbrady at sbcglobal.net
Fri Sep 5 00:22:03 MDT 2003

Worker Productivity Soars

Businesses produce more with fewer employees


WASHINGTON, Sept. 4 — The productivity of U.S.
companies in the second quarter posted the biggest
gain in a year as businesses produced more with fewer
workers. New claims for unemployment benefits climbed
last week to the highest level since the middle of


{the following is perhaps more enlightening,
but if we were all in a group at a table
reading the paper we would hear some ejaculations
at certain points, e.g.: "Economists said"--
like, dude, what economists?
Michael Perlman, perhaps?
The whole "economics" perspective in both pieces,
MSNBC above and Rueters following, is from the
p.o.v. of management and capital.  That's what
would make it so difficult for any of us to teach
"economics" in a US high school.  Note the notion
of "efficiency".

Jobless Claims Rise, Productivity Strong

A key reason for the plight of the unemployed is the
big gains businesses have been able to make in their

In a revision to figures released a month ago, the
department said the productivity of U.S. businesses
climbed at a 6.8 percent annual rate during the second
quarter, well above the previously reported 5.7
percent clip.

Economists said the better-than-expected productivity
figures marked a stellar performance. The department
said it was the strongest advance in productivity
since the first quarter of last year.


Strong advances in productivity -- or output per
worker hour -- have allowed businesses to increase
production while laying off employees. The economy
began to climb out of recession in November 2001, but
it has continued to lose jobs.

While economists have been heartened by mounting signs
the economy was gathering strength, …

While strong productivity gains have led to jobs
losses, analysts say that over the long run increases
in business efficiency are good for the economy
because they are the main building block for better
living standards.

The productivity report showed increases in efficiency
helped businesses keep the cost of production under

Unit labor costs, a closely monitored gauge of
potential wage pressures, fell a revised 2.8 percent,
a good sign for firms struggling to shore up profits.


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