The US has seen a marked drop in productivity levels in recent years. In fact, productivity in the country is now at an all time low, having decreased by 2.1% in the first quarter of 2023.
When we look at the US as a whole, the picture isn’t an incredibly positive one. Today’s productivity levels are the lowest we’ve seen for 75 years, with factors like covid and the current cost of living crisis impacting the outlook of a wide range of different industries. However, some regions are bucking the trend, with more encouraging rises in productivity levels being found in specific areas across the country.
Our all-in-one project management tool has enabled businesses across the US to rapidly boost their productivity and allow teams to fulfil their real potential. As the team behind the software, we wanted to find out more about how the current economic climate is affecting productivity throughout the country, which is how the following study came about.
Productivity in the US: The Research
We decided to delve deeper into the data behind the troubling headlines on waning productivity levels, to learn more about what’s really happening within individual states.
To do so, our team gathered data from five separate resources, and collated the information to calculate overall productivity levels for all US states. The study used data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (productivity by state breakdown), along with reported data on GDP growth, employment rates, business applications and innovation metrics.
We then attributed a score to each of the above resources, for all US states. These figures were then used to calculate an overall productivity score for each state. The results were then compared, to give the full picture on which US states currently have the best productivity levels, and which are lagging behind where innovation and other opportunities are concerned.
Which US state tops the poll for productivity?
This research found a clear winner - with an overall score of 48 - in terms of productivity: Florida. The state of Florida is currently more productive than many other US states, as is evident from recent growth in its GDP and the vast levels of business applications being reported in the state.
In terms of innovation, Florida scored five out of 12, meaning it was far from the most innovative state in the study. However, overall the opportunities on offer here make it the most productive US state, according to the data analysed for our study.
Florida wasn’t alone in the positive picture being presented here. Other states offering good productivity levels included Tennessee, which was ranked second in the study and also scored remarkably highly for new business applications and GDP growth.
Delaware was ranked third in this research, having also achieved good levels of business applications and growth in its GDP. The state was recognised for its innovation, scoring 7 out of 12 (a result which tops the innovation scores of the states in first and second position.)
Innovation is making a difference in several states
In terms of innovation alone, the state of Massachusetts was a winner, scoring 12 out of 12. Other particularly innovative states included the likes of Washington, Maryland and of course California, which scored 10, 9 and 9 out of 12 respectively.
Despite scoring well for innovation, these states failed to come out on top for productivity overall. This was due to poorer scores for other important factors, such as employment rates and business applications.
But as we all know, innovation does naturally tend to lead to improvements in productivity, so it’s likely that the states found to be most innovative in this research might start to see better levels of productivity in the near future.
Which states were least productive - and why?
While average productivity levels for the US are on the decline, it’s likely that the states ranked lowest on this research are pulling those figures down, giving an overall picture of productivity in the US that’s not quite as positive as it could be.
The state of Alaska, for example, ranked poorly for productivity across the board in this study. Here, business applications were amongst the lowest in the entire country, as was GDP growth. So it’s not surprising that productivity levels are on the decline throughout the state.
The state of Alaska didn’t have the lowest levels of employment in this research, however. Both Nebraska and New Hampshire scored just 2 out of 10 for employment, significantly bringing down their average scores for overall productivity.
Nebraska, South Dakota and Louisiana also scored poorly for innovation, which would also have had a significant negative impact on the productivity scores that these states were able to achieve.
Recent discussions on productivity in the US have centred on the shocking statistics we’ve seen emerge from the country lately. And with headlines being dominated by the news that productivity hasn’t been as low for 75 years, it’s easy to feel discouraged by the current economic outlook for businesses based here. However, Hello Ivy’s research reveals that there’s far more to this picture of productivity than initially meets the eye.
While some states are lagging behind in productivity levels, others are surpassing expectations - particularly when it comes to innovation and new business opportunities.
Tools like Hello Ivy are designed to rapidly boost productivity, while also improving communication, collaboration and teamwork across a business. The all-in-one project management tool provides teams with a single, dedicated workspace where they can keep track of everything, from day to day tasks to the next big idea for the future.
Find out more about Hello Ivy and how it works at helloivy.co.