The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Worker Productivity—Through the Roof

Dec 15, 2003

The business press reported it–productivity increased at a phenomenal annual rate of more than 9% in the third quarter. Some commentators would have us believe that this means good times just around the corner–complete with increased hiring and more jobs.

Fat chance! Increased productivity means that fewer workers can put out more goods. And in this system based on profit, the corporations rush to take advantage of that to cut jobs. Just look around at our own workplaces. See how many fewer of us there are–putting out how much more work.

It’s certainly true that increased productivity could allow each of us to reduce our hours of work–even while taking home higher wages. And this could allow more people to be hired.

There’s no reason this shouldn’t happen, except that the capitalists, always looking to squeeze more profits out of fewer workers, don’t want to do it. But the capitalists have been forced before to do things they didn’t want to do. They can be forced to do so again.