East Asia Productivity Jumps As U.S. Falls

Global Shift of Manufacturing Affects Productivity

By Heide B. Malhotra
Epoch Times Washington, D.C. Staff
Oct 21, 2007

WASHINGTON—Workers’ productivity in the United States has been on a downslide since 2000, as the U.S. transforms itself into primarily a service economy.

U.S. productivity came in at 11th place, with a score of a mere 2.4 percent, among sixteen of its major trading partners. South Korea and Taiwan outscored everyone, putting them in first and second place with a score of 10.8 percent and 6.9 percent, respectively.

Canada was the only country amongst the sixteen that showed no productivity growth in 2006, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) annual rankings released in October.

Media reports suggest that productivity in the U.S. will slow for another few months. Reasons brought forward are a possible recession that will lead to layoffs by a great number of firms. Then, the economy will find new impetus because of new product developments, opening the door for a buying spree, leading to re-hiring or hiring of more labor, improving U.S. productivity statistics in the long run.

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