It is defined as the value of all goods and services produced less the value of any goods or services used in their creation. Because, over the long run, productivity growth is the economic factor that has the potential to lead to improved living standards for the participants of an economyâin the form of higher consumption of goods and services. Although labor is the most common input factor, you also could use variables such as equipment, raw materials and money to calculate productivity growth rates. Gross domestic product (GDP) is a measure for the economic activity. Information in this article will be made available to sensory-impaired individuals upon request. This fact might strike some as surprising: workers in the U.S. business sector worked virtually the same number of hours in 2013 as they had in 1998âapproximately 194 billion labor hours.1 What this means is that there was ultimately no growth at all in the number of hours worked over this 15-year period, despite the fact that the U.S population gained over 40 million people during that time, and despite the fact that there were thousands of new businesses established during that time.