Has the technological revolution improved productivity?

Despite the hype there is apparently very little evidence of improved productivity, according to the BBC.

“Between 1974 and 2008 the UK’s productivity – the amount of output you get per worker – grew at an annual rate of 2.3%. But between 2008 and 2020 the rate of productivity growth collapsed to around 0.5% per annum.”

One of the explanations is that people are getting side tracked into messaging friends on Whatsapp, watching videos on YouTube, arguing angrily on Twitter rather than concentrating on work.

But there are other explanations, one being that we are “not measuring the impact of technology properly. The second is that economic revolutions tend to be rather slow-burning affairs”.

One professor at the University of Cambridge argues that data isn’t collected in ways that would help with understanding and measuring productivity.

She gives the example of a business that has dispensed with in-house technical staff and moved to outsourcing and therefore on paper this business looks smaller.

Other academics argue that when we look back to previous industrial revolutions we telescope the time their innovations took to have an effect.

The conclusion is “The technology is seemingly not the problem, and in some respects it is not the solution either. High productivity growth will come only to those that learn how to use it best.”

You can read the full article here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-66233654