Labor productivity grew regardless of the labor input measure from 1948 to 2017

Line graph comparing hours-based labor productivity, employment-based labor productivity, and quality-adjusted labor productivity from 1948 to 2014.

Total U.S. farm output almost tripled from 1948 to 2017, though total labor hours in the farm sector declined more than 80 percent. The quality of agricultural labor, as measured by educational attainment and other labor attributes, increased over this time. Economic Research Service researchers determined that for farm labor, the growth in human capital attributes, such as education, mitigated the negative effects from a decline in farm labor hours worked.

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