Why Productivity Matters
It is sometimes easy to overlook the importance of productivity. National figures are often reported in the media. They may seem to be ho-hum; there’s nothing glamorous about them to get our attention. But make no mistake; they are key economic indicators—barometer, if you will, that affect everybody. How? High productivity and high standard of living go hand-in-hand. If a country becomes more service-based, as the United States has become, some (but not all) high-productivity manufacturing jobs are replaced by lower-productivity service jobs. That makes it more difficult to support a high standard of living.
Productivity levels are also important for industries and companies. For companies, a higher productivity relative to their competitors gives them a competitive advantage in the marketplace. With a higher productivity, they can afford to undercut competitors’ prices to gain market share, or charge the same prices but realized greater profits? For an industry, higher relative productivity means it is less likely to be supplanted by foreign industry.
Why is high productivity important for a nation?
Why do you suppose that service jobs have lower productivity than manufacturing jobs?
How can a company gain a competitive advantage by having higher productivity than its competitors have?
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