Infographic

The great stagnation

Labor productivity growth in the U.S. has slowed in recent years, despite new technologies in the workplace

From the steam engine to the telephone and the personal computer, new technologies have tended to make workers more productive over time. Over the past 15 years, however, labor productivity growth—measured as growth in GDP per capita—has been stagnant despite the rise of smartphones, AI and the internet, all technologies that promised to make work more efficient.

The trend is so curious that economists have named it the productivity paradox.