The Labor Department reported on Wednesday that worker productivity reached a rate of 9.4 percent during the quarter. This data suggests that companies and their workers have become much more efficient in putting technology to use, and should boost the nation's standard of living. Productivity growth is important because it leads to higher profits for companies, which can be put toward increasing worker pay without increasing prices. Companies with increased profits can also invest in more equipment which can stimulate demand and lead to more hiring.
See Michael Oneal, Chicago Tribune, December 3, 2003