Increasing skill levels now account for over a quarter of labor productivity growth
September 20, 1999
More than one-fourth of the growth in labor productivity in the 1990s has been due to rises in the skill levels of workers. This represents a dramatic change from the 1970s, when skill change contributed almost nothing to labor productivity growth.
Labor productivity in the private business sector grew by 1.30 percent per year on average between 1990 and 1997, and increasing skill levels accounted for 0.41 percentage point of the growth. Between 1973 and 1979, the growth rate of labor productivity was about the same as in the 1990s—1.27 percent per year—but increases in skills only explained 0.03 percentage point of this growth.
For this analysis, skills are measured by the education and work experience of individuals. Labor productivity is measured by output per hour worked.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Increasing skill levels now account for over a quarter of labor productivity growth on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/1999/sept/wk4/art01.htm (visited July 31, 2015).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
New estimates of personal taxes in Consumer Expenditure Survey
In 2013, the Consumer Expenditure Survey improved its personal tax data.
Trends in long-term unemployment
Long-term unemployment reached historically high levels following the recession of 2007–2009.
Housing: before, during, and after the Great Recession
looks at consumer expenditures on household items, employment in residential construction, prices for household items, and injuries in occupations involved in building and maintaining our homes.