Random Musings
Wednesday, December 03, 2003
 
Yahoo! News - Productivity Makes Best Gains in 20 Years: "In terms of productivity, 'businesses have probably stretched their current work forces about as far as they can stretch,' said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group. 'If the growth in the economy continues, businesses would be required to add to their staffs, rather than expect current employees to do it all on a going-forward basis.' "

I sure hope that's true, but it seems a little optimistic to me. I can still remember an infamous claim from the early 20th century that the patent office wasn't necessary because everything that could be invented already had been. Or Bill Gates' oft-quoted statement that 640KB of RAM ought to be enough.

Have we really seen the top of the productivity or are companies simply encouraged by this news and looking to squeeze even more out of their existing employees?

November and December always see hiring surges as retail companies pick up seasonal employees. I'll be impressed if real job recovery is in evidence come February.

-Ben-

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