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How the Middle Market Kept Productivity High Through the Recession

Hal Conick

As U.S. productivity crashed with the Great Recession, the middle market’s productivity stayed afloat. Here’s how they did it.

The Great Recession was an insidious force against the U.S. economy. Across the country, organizational production plummeted in step with the GDP, capital investment and jobs. The country was sent into a fiscal tailspin, with productivity left to swirl into its downward spiral. 

Crashing productivity was less publicized than other failing pieces of the economy, but its pain was felt country-wide. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonfarm business productivity dropped 100% between the periods of 2000 to 2007 and 2007 to 2015 from 2.6% annual growth to 1.3% annual growth

Middle market productivity, while not unaffected by 2007’s economic sinkhole, has been a proverbial lambent flame in an otherwise darkened economy. As U.S. productivity continues to languish in 2016, down 0.6% during the second quarter, midmarket productivity has been on the rise since the fourth quarter of 2015, according to the Middle Market Center​. The sector experienced its third consecutive quarter of growth in the second quarter of 2016. Yielding 3.3% growth in the second quarter, it is closing in on its 2014 productivity increase of 4%. 

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Hal Conick

Hal Conick is a staff writer for the AMA’s magazines and e-newsletters. He can be reached at hconick@ama.org or on Twitter at @HalConick.