Forced to become leaner during the latest recession, American businesses are apparently doing more with fewer workers. As the economy improves, productivity (economic output per labor hour) continues to rise; it increased 3.5% in 2009 and 3.6% in 2010.
Many companies continue to benefit from various efficiencies introduced during the downturn, including streamlined processes, technological advances, and increased worker productivity. Businesses have pared tasks to what’s most essential and use such techniques as cross-training employees to reduce worker downtime. Increasing productivity by making workers do more can only go so far. To create future growth, companies will eventually find it necessary to add employees.