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May, 1988, Vol. 111, No. 5
Recent changes in the growth of U.S. multifactor productivityEdwin Dean and Kent Kunze
T he dramatic slowdown in productivity growth that began about 1973 has been the focus of much analysis and discussion. In recent months, this discussion has taken on new life, as analysts continue to probe the influence of U.S. productivity growth on the country's competitiveness in world trade. Other commentators have raised the possibility that the slowdown has ended and productivity growth has resumed its earlier pace.
The present article contributes to the discussion by presenting and analyzing recent Bureau of Labor Statistics measures of growth in multifactor productivity in the United States. It also presents preliminary results of BLS studies of factors that have affected productivity change. Special attention is given to the productivity growth record for recent years, to examine whether productivity might have resumed its pre-1973 pace.
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