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Productivity “Paradigm Shift” Paradox?

Dozens of news articles today about a speech given in San Diego by Janet Yellen, Federal Reserve President in SF, where she claims that this may be a jobless recovery because employers will squeeze every bit of productivity they can out of their workers, in lieu of hiring. Yellen commented on interest rates and many other topics in her talk, and financial markets reacted to her speech. With regard to employment, Yellen added that it may be 3 full years until employment catches up with growth in the economy. A new post by Shahien Nasiripour on the Huffington Post posits that this point of view on productivity could be a permanent paradigm shift by employers.

I’ve written before on how I (and several other hiring experts) feel that the productivity increases are unsustainable. The projected 3% GDP growth over the next few years, combined with federal budget cuts, changes to the balance of trade, and severely low worker morale and loyalty, means to me that there will be job creation, and over the next 3 years we will regain the losses of the past 2 years. My research and personal anecdotal experience indicates that especially at the managerial and above levels, people will simply not put up (and “put out”) to the extent they have, during a time of recovery.

In the 140 or so comments rapidly accumulating on Huffington Post, most of the writers are really angry, about how the government and business have failed to address “Main Street”. I think this attitude will start to seep into the workplace and even if employers expect to get blood from stones, further increases in productivity or even sustaining the current high rate, will not happen.

Disagree with me? Start a comment chain, and let’s discuss it!