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Everyone Left, Go Faster

Nonfarm productivity went up last quarter, by 1.1 percent. The statistic measures the making of stuff that isn't grown or raised. The Wall Street Journal says this proves the economy is "resilient."

Wall Street Journal blogger Brian Blackstone has a different take on it. Blackstone headlines his item "Productivity Gains May Make Job Losses Worse." He writes:

The problem is that productivity growth last quarter was achieved because hours worked fell at a faster pace, 2.7%, than business output, which contracted 1.7%. In other words, companies shed labor faster than the economy shed output.

In other words, the workforce looks more productive because it included fewer people. Workers just turned it up a notch. (Feel like you're doing a job and a half? That's the feeling.)

Blackstone adds that the trend makes employers that much more likely to off lay additional people.