Iourii Manovskii

It has become conventional wisdom that the cyclical behavior of labor productivity has changed since the mid-1980s. The figures below illustrate that the behavior of labor productivity in 1981-82 and 2007-09 recessions does not appear very different.

 

 

 

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HP-Filtered, Normalized to 0 at the NBER Peak

Levels, Normalized to 1 at the NBER Peak

 

Labor productivity in figures above is defined as the ratio of nonfarm business output to nonfarm business employment from the Current Population Survey. Numerous additional measures are in use in the literature making the comparisons difficult. In a project with Bjoern Bruegemann and Marcus Hagedorn we construct and make available a dataset that contains most relevant series on postwar U.S. labor productivity to provide a common ground for the discussion.

 

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Updated: September, 2010.