pro·duc·tiv·i·ty | \ˌprō-dək-ˈti-və-tē, ˌprä-, prə-ˌdək-\

Definition of productivity 

1 : the quality or state of being productive

2 : the rate per unit area or per unit volume at which biomass consumable as food by other organisms is made by producers

Examples of productivity in a Sentence

The country has low agricultural productivity. The company is looking for ways to improve worker productivity. There has been an increase in productivity.
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Recent Examples on the Web

On the other end of the employment spectrum, meanwhile, there will continue to be a small number of rich and super-rich individuals who reap the benefits of increased in productivity created by technology. James Vincent, The Verge, "Economists worry we aren’t prepared for the fallout from automation," 2 July 2018 Yet even a recovery in productivity would not guarantee good times for workers. The Economist, "The rich world needs higher real wage growth," 30 June 2018 The rise in productivity was only marginally better than the 0.3 percent increase in the fourth quarter but below the 2.6 percent third-quarter increase., "Foxconn chief: US-China dispute over tech, not trade," 7 June 2018 The study also found that these workers noted a two percent boost in productivity, and a 10 percent decrease in drowsiness. NBC News, "Where you sit or stand at work may boost your productivity," 21 May 2018 In addition to the potentially devastating human suffering, people living with PTSD miss an average of four days of work per month, resulting in a loss of almost $3 billion dollars per year in productivity in the United States alone. Shaili Jain, STAT, "Preventing PTSD: calling Dr. Tetris?," 14 May 2018 The bad news is the decline in walleye productivity is real. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Researchers document walleye decline in Wisconsin waters," 9 May 2018 Gains in productivity have been sluggish since 2011. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Start-ups are growing again, but with fewer jobs than before recession," 16 Apr. 2018 Every dollar invested in treatment could lead to a return of $4 in economic productivity. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Why Mariah Carey's Bipolar Diagnosis Matters," 11 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'productivity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of productivity

1808, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

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The first known use of productivity was in 1808

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Financial Definition of productivity

What It Is

Productivity refers to the measure of output (e.g. products) from a production process per unit of input (e.g. labor and capital).

How It Works

Productivity is usually expressed as a ratio of output to inputs. It can be expressed as units of a product (e.g. cars) per worker-hour (total number of hours worked by all workers on that car).   Given the cost of the worker-hour, productivity can also measure the efficiency of a company.

These measures are quantitative and relatively easy to measure.  However, other factors of productivity, such as creativity, innovation, teamwork, and even quality are qualitative and more difficult to measure

Why It Matters

In most business models, profitability is a function of productivity, price, and volume.  In other words, a company's success is measured by how efficiently it uses its resources to produce its product, the price it can sell its products, and how many products it can actually sell.  When comparing companies within a sector, for example, it is very important for investors to understand the relative productivity comparisons between companies producing the same products.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of productivity

: the rate at which goods are produced or work is completed

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Comments on productivity

What made you want to look up productivity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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