Thursday, May 2, 2019

US Worker Producivity Advances At Best Rate Since 2010 -- Huge Story -- 3.6% -- 1Q19

US worker productivity: making America great. From The WSJ:
Productivity at best advance in almost a decade

Bloomberg would file this under "Politics" and place it near the back of the magazine. The New York Times would place the article in their op-ed section. MSNBC (and perhaps, CNBC) won't report it at all. As it was, The WSJ couldn't even put the number anywhere in the "banner."

This is really quite incredible. Data points:
  • 1Q19: productivity increased at 3.6%
  • 1Q18: 2.4%
  • best gain year-over-year since 3Q10 -- when the economy was just emerging from a deep recession
  • productivity tends to be strong(est) in the early days of an economy cycle
Like the 1Q19 GDP (first reading) of 3.2%, an increase in production of 3.6% at this point in the economic cycle is simply amazing. It is not trivial. And I have no words to compare a 3.6% reading with a 2.4% reading a year ago. Again, this is the best gain since 3Q10, when the economy was just emerging from a deep recession.

If one were to round these numbers:
  • 1Q19; 4%
  • 1Q18: 2%
From the linked article:
Accelerating improvement nearly 10 years after the recession ended raises hopes that a combination of more efficient workers and Americans rejoining the labor force could provide necessary fuel to extend one of the longest expansions in the post-World War II era.
And then the article seems to turn into an op-ed piece.

"Extends hope." LOL. The "longest expansion" milestone is due to be broken "next month," though pundits keep waffling on exactly what is meant by "the next month." Apparently it depends on a few definitions and who is in the oval office. [Wow, it's going to be painful for some of the "news organizations" to mention "longest expansion in US history" and President Donald J. Trump in the same article.]

I found this paragraph most interesting:
While the latest data shows worker efficiency is improving, the pace of gains is near average by historical standards. Since the end of World War II through 2018—including both expansions and recessions—productivity rose at an average annual rate of 2.1%. In the previous economic cycle, from 2000 to 2007, productivity rose at a 2.7% annual rate.
"The pace of gains is near average." -- That's why the editors gave it such a huge banner -- "it's just average." LOL. Wow, this gets tedious. 

Are the writers suggesting that all the technology developed since WWII really did not amount to much when it came to worker productivity -- just allowing quarterly productivity rates to advance at a steady pace?

If there are significant productivity gains, I think it's micro-dosing. From an earlier post:
LSD, micro-dosing, 24/7: yes, actually happening in Silicon Valley. The story "broke" in 2017, but is now hitting mainstream media, posted April 18, 2018.
I did find it interesting that well into this expansion, the rate of productivity y-o-y increased by a record amount and Trump was not given any credit. One can argue whether his administration should be given any credit but had productivity slumped, one can guarantee the Trump administration would have been held responsible.

I don't believe there was any comment in the article about the streamlining / removing unnecessary government rules and regulations.

Link here.



Exempt From Paris Climate Change Goals

China:  China's electric power industry is the world's largest electricity producer, passing the United States in 2011 after rapid growth since the early 1990s. ... China's coal powered generating capacity is expected to increase to 1300 GW by 2020, from 960 GW in 2016, despite official plans to limit that growth to 1100 GW.


Link here.

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