The Atlantic

Can Declining Productivity Growth Be Reversed?

A new report argues that companies haven’t been making the kinds of investments that help American workers get more done.
Source: Mike Stone / Reuters

One of the greatest mysteries about the American economy right now is why workers don’t seem to be getting all that much better at their jobs over time. From 2007 to 2016, productivity in the U.S. grew at about 1 percenta historically low rate. In other recent periods, it’s been much higher: 2.6 percent from 2000 to 2007 and 2.2 percent in the 1990s.

The slowdown in productivity is worrying for the U.S. economy in the long run, and scholars and economists have speculated a host of reasons for why that might be, from a lack of innovation to weakening investment to

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