When bad economic news is good news
Productivity growth slowed from more than 6 percent during the final three quarters of 2009 to 3.6 percent during the first quarter of 2010. Generally, you want productivity growth to be as high as possible, but this is actually good news for the labor market. In the context of the recession, the weirdly high productivity growth meant that scared, overstretched workers were producing much more than they had before the recession, freeing employers from the need to hire new workers to increase their productive capacity. With productivity falling back to earth, employers will actually need to hire new people to keep up with demand, which means, well, hiring new people.
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