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Productivity Increases During Recessions Are Bad News

Productivity increases during recessions are not good news.  Looking at the unit labor costs, increases either flatten during or after the recession.

The reason is that business needs to keep its skilled workforce - as they are betting on re-expansion.  I can only think of two reasons why productivity would increase during a recession:
  1. you have exported the labor intensive jobs and kept the low labor jobs;
  2. you have rationalized your workforce to a new environment.

either way, not good.