Productivity is one of them many indicators of how well the economy is doing. It is a measure of how efficient businesses are by comparing the input of labor and resources to the output of goods and services. When productivity rises, that means businesses are operating more effectively.
According to recent numbers form the Bureau of Labor Statistics, business productivity rose 1.8 percent from Q4 2017 to Q4 2018. This was led by a 3.7 percent leap in output and a 1.9 percent increase in hours worked by employees. Essentially, employees are working more than they did a year ago, and similarly, businesses are producing more on average.
Not all industries are the same, however. Manufacturing only had a 1 percent increase in labor productivity and a 2.9 percent increase in output. While hourly compensation increased for all industries, real hourly compensation (which is adjusted for inflation) actually decreased slightly for employees in manufacturing jobs.