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Could Higher Industrial Production Result in Less Hiring?

March 15th, 2010 Michael McDonough

February’s surprise 0.1% increment in industrial production came despite severe winter weather during the month that was expected to hamper production.  Amongst the index’s biggest gainers were computers and information processing equipment, which each rose roughly 1%.  As Bloomberg put it these increments ’signal the pickup in U.S. business investment is being sustained’.  However, could these gains come at the expense of job gains?  Afterall, one of the primary functions of computers and ’information processing equipment’ is to bolster productivity. And let us not forget, productivity gains have exploded since the onset of the financial crisis, while employment has fallen off a cliff.  It may be too early to tell, but the possibility exists that companies could be investing in new cheaper technology rather than investing in new expensive employees to support output and profits–a trend which could continue for a while…

U.S. IP y/y:

Source: Bloomberg

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