Economy growing, thanks to workers

We hear a lot about unemployment rates, the gross domestic product, business inventories and a variety of other economic indicators. But among the most interesting are productivity reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In essence, productivity data compares the value of goods and services to the amount of labor needed to produce them.

During the second quarter of this year, productivity in the nonfarm sector of the economy increased by 2.9 percent.

Even more illuminating was the BLS conclusion that the value of goods and services produced during the quarter went up 4.8 percent — while hours worked increased only 1.9 percent.

Americans are producing more during every hour we are at work.

Many factors contribute to that. Technology makes many workers able to produce more while working fewer hours.

But someone has to devise new methods and machines. Someone has to learn how to use them. And someone has to find ways, even without better technology, to do more with less.

Our economy is growing, thanks to working Americans.