When it comes to productivity, few of us consider the big picture. Being more productive at work means much more than just being able to finish more work in a day or getting your boss to notice your work ethic; it can also have a marked effect on the economy as a whole, especially when considered in relation to unemployment levels. These two markers of economic success (or distress as the case may be) are intertwined in a number of complex ways and the relationship between the two isn’t always as clear cut as we might think. Here, we explore some of the ways that worker productivity — yes, even your own — can and has affected unemployment (and vice versa), both in our own country and in others around the world.
Getting more done in less time is great, right? If you’re an employer, definitely, but things aren’t so clear cut for employees. In recent years, many businesses have made major cutbacks in the amount of employees they have working for them, forcing those left behind to take on more work, often for no pay increase. It’s impressive that some workers can do the job of three employees, but this kind of forced productivity means that there are fewer jobs out there and more people looking for work, pushing up levels of unemployment.