From: Jerry Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Sat May 13 2006 - 22:15:18 EDT
Hi Jurriaan, Sure, if you can find branches of production where technological change hasn't occurred in the period studied yet less (or the same) workers working less (or the same) working hours produce more output, then one could attribute that increase in productivity to increased labor intensity. It's not so easy, generally, to come to such a conclusion because within a branch of production there is often technological change _and_ (simultaneously) changes in labor intensity. To what extent workers are producing more output is also difficult to ascertain when the product mix is heterogeneous. In the case of the airline industry which you cited, I wonder whether there was a decline in customer services. In the context of deregulation, the maintenance schedules could have also been cut back. One could be able, for instance, to think of *rationalization* (or perhaps I should have said "rationalization") occurring even in the absence of technological change or changes in labor intensity. In solidarity, Jerry > Tuesday, November 15, 2005 - U.S. scheduled passenger airlines employed > 436,350 workers in September 2005, 5.5 percent *fewer* than in September > 2004, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation > Statistics (BTS) reported. The decline was almost totally due to a decline > in fulltime staff, the level of parttime staff is justabout the same. > Yet, on November 10, 2005 the BTS also reported that U.S. airlines carried > 5.2 percent *more* domestic passengers and flew 1.6 percent *more* > domestic flights during the first eight months of 2005 than they did > during the same period in 2004.
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