Slowing in Productivity Could Mean an Increase in Hiring

This past Thursday the United Sates Labor Department stated that worker productivity in the final three months of 2011 rose relatively slowly. During the October to December quarter the annual rate reached only 0.7 percent. This rate was significantly lower than that of the previous quarter which reached nearly 1.9 percent. The recent slow in productivity could potentially mean increased hiring if the economy picks up.

Productivity is defined as the amount of output per hour within a given plant. While a slowdown in productivity is damaging to company profits, it can be beneficial for hiring if businesses see their current staff is meeting their full potential. This usually results in the need to take on new hires if the intention is to expand.

Growth accelerated to an annual rate of 2.8 percent in the final months of 2011. The increase spurred hiring and businesses added nearly 137,000 jobs each month. The number of jobs added was lower than the third quarter’s expected average however it was a spike from the April-June quarter which added only 97,000 jobs per month.

During the recession productivity jumped as employers found ways to boost output without hiring. In the short term, they were able to boost profits. But by 2011, productivity slowed as the workforce only slightly expanded and staff had to work longer hours. Increased plant productivity allows businesses to increase wages without having to bump the prices of their goods, which in turn can cause inflation.

The hope is that the slowed productivity seen on plant floors will encourage managers to continue hiring in an effort to meet the growing demands of an economy full of consumers who are once again regaining confidence in spending. With new hires comes the opportunity to train and even re train current company workforces. Industrial training skills are the essence of being able to increase productivity efficiently and effectively. Utilizing a well trained workforce through the use of industrial training courseware will only benefit businesses and boost their bottom line. Technology has even simplified the delivery methods of industrial training with online courseware and full motion video courseware. These platforms allow trainees to see industrial training skills where and when they’re comfortable learning. Learn more about the benefits of industrial training here.

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