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Melvin Backman

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Labor Department: American Workers Are Not Getting Much More Productive

August 11, 2015 Working hard or hardly working? Productivity numbers are in from the Labor Department, and they’re ho-hum (1.3% annualized growth in the second quarter). The numbers have been pretty low and choppy for the past 4+ years, with a large number of revisions thrown in there. Despite the wondrous age of...

Americans Don’t Moonlight Like We Used To

May 22, 2015 The Bureau of Labor Statistics looked into people who juggle multiple jobs in its April Monthly Labor Review, and it found that the practice is getting less and less popular these days. One would think that bad recessions like the one the US is still struggling to recover from would...

More American Millennials Are Working Than Any Other Generation

May 12, 2015 Young Americans get a bad rap: they’re often considered entitled,selfish, and behind the curve academically. But apparently, one thing they have in their favor compared to other generations is they’re working. The Pew Research Center, in a report released this morning, noted that workers born after 1980 are now the...

Americans are Less Productive and Better Compensated Than We Thought

March 6, 2015 The Bureau of Labor Statistics revised its fourth-quarter figuresfor productivity—economic output divided by hours worked—indicating Americans weren’t as productive as they looked at first blush. In fact, the numbers were a letdown versus the initial estimates for the entire second half of 2014. But the news from the BLS today...

Computers Aren’t Making Us Better Workers Like They Used To

February 11, 2015 The last decade’s IT-driven productivity gains have largely fallen off, according to a new paper that the San Francisco Fed put up Monday (Feb. 9). Researchers John Fernald and Bing Wang focused on industries that intensively used or created information technology, and they found that the great digital revolution of...