productivity

US Productivity Grew at 2.2% Rate in Spring

U.S. companies got more output from their workers this spring than initially thought. Productivity rose at a modest 2.2 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter, largely because employers cut back sharply on hiring.

'Made in China' Is Starting to Get Too Expensive

U.S. workers are far, far more productive than their Chinese counterparts -- mostly because we have a big head start on automation. And when you combine lower productivity with the rising wages that Chinese laborers now demand, you get what may be the recipe for the rebirth of American manufacturing.

U.S. Workers Lost $38 Billion in Wages Waiting for the Cable Guy Last Year

Waiting for the cable guy, the Internet guy, or the air conditioner guy are tedious life necessities, like doing laundry or visiting the in-laws. But they are vastly more expensive. According to a new poll, American workers lost a total of $37.7 billion waiting around for in-house appointments in 2011.

Obesity Drags on the Economy

Obese people do not just risk their own health; their health problems cripple the economy. GDP would be given a boost if the number of fat people fell sharply. The Obama administration has not made an attack on obesity part of its stimulus program. Maybe it should.

Days and Dollars Lost to the Flu Hit a Fever Pitch

Tallying up the flu's effect on our economy is enough to make you sick. Influenza was responsible for 100 million lost work days in 2010, according to a Walgreens study. That's $7 billion in lost wages, and $10 billion in lost productivity. Inspired to get vaccinated this year? We'll point you to the best deal.

A Stock Market Breakout Is Likely -- but in Which Direction?

The technical signals suggest we're at a crucial decision point for the stock market: Either a decisive rise or a dramatic fall is coming. And if you're the type to dismiss technical analysis as unscientific voodoo, you're missing the point: It's not about pattern matching, it's about human psychology.

Are High Taxes Making Small Business Slow
to Hire?

The majority of jobs in the U.S. are created by small business, which are still reluctant to hire new workers. And while some of their reasons for holding back may mirror those of big businesses, local conditions like state taxes may loom larger in their decisions.

People@Work: Winter's Blasts Affect Not Only Hiring but Output, Too

It's hard to fathom that something as mundane as weather could affect employment statistics. But it clearly does. And it also has big impact on how much work actually gets done. And beyond the snows of winter, there's distractions like the Super Bowl that keep worker from their duties.

U.S. Productivity Gains Are Good News for Everyone

It sometimes feels as if every piece of economic news comes with a qualifier. However, one statistic has had an unqualified, enduring positive run: the rise in worker productivity, which bodes well for investors, employees and -- eventually -- job-seekers.

How Long Is America's Road Back to Full Employment?

There's no way to sugarcoat it: The U.S. job deficit is huge, and it will take years before we return to anyone's idea of full employment. But investors shouldn't become pessimistic: Our flexible economy%u2019s has the capacity to adapt and renew itself faster than many experts expect.

Attention Investors: Enjoy the Ride, Go With the Flow

Here's a short answer for those who wonder what could transport the market still higher: the economy. The unexpected and sudden advance that started last September foresaw favorable economic news. The continuing rebound will now propel the market to even headier levels.

America's Malady: A Bad Case of 'Baumol's Disease'

Unlike an illness caused by microscopic invaders of your body, which might raise your temperature and cause you physical aches and pains, Baumol's Cost Disease raises wages and causes some painful shifts in a nation's labor balance. Unfortunately, it's natural, and there's no miracle cure.

Record Corporate Profits Are Coming Out of Workers' Hides

The Commerce Department reports that U.S. corporate profits have hit historic highs, so why isn't the GOP -- the party of business -- celebrating? After all, those profits are coming not from revenue growth -- which would benefit workers and executives -- but from cost cutting.

Negative Attitudes Straining Worker Productivity

About 60% of those polled in a recent survey said negativity is making it more difficult for employees to stay focused. Criticism, gossip and lack of teamwork are all contributing to reduced productivity, the poll found.

Two Years Later: The U.S. Economy Still Needs a Spark Plug

The capital markets have recovered nicely from the depths of the financial crisis's despair, though skittishness remains. What the economy sorely needs now is the next big thing -- perhaps a new technology that boosts business productivity.

A Small Step Forward for Initial Jobless Claims

With the latest weekly initial jobless claims declining 6,000 to 472,000, the U.S. labor market has eked out some modest improvement. Still, jobless claims need to drop below 400,000 during the next two quarters to show broad economic gains.

Pay Raises Are Smaller Than Expected This Year

Workers who got less of a raise than they anticipated this year aren't alone. A new Hewitt survey of large companies finds the nation's slack recovery has prompted many employers to rein in expenses, thereby reducing planned raises and bonuses.

IT and the Art of Efficiency

Higher productivity is good for both companies and workers, but where do improvements in productivity come from? The second entry in a three-part series exploring efficiency in the workplace.