Updated March 24 at 12:29am

Brookings: Prov. metro 62nd of 382 for labor productivity growth over 37-year period

The Providence-Warwick-Fall River metropolitan area saw its annual labor productivity grow 1.54 percent from 1978 to 2015, according to a study released recently by The Brookings Institution.

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Brookings: Prov. metro 62nd of 382 for labor productivity growth over 37-year period

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PROVIDENCE – The Providence-Warwick-Fall River metropolitan area saw its annual labor productivity grow 1.54 percent from 1978 to 2015, according to a study released recently by The Brookings Institution.

The Providence metro ranked 62nd in its labor productivity growth over that period, which is above the U.S. average of 1.1 percent. Labor productivity in the Providence metro totaled $102,160 in 2015, below the U.S. average of $113,000.

Brookings looked at 382 metro areas around the country to understand productivity trends.

Labor productivity ranged from $299,000 per worker in Midland, Texas, to $38,000 per worker in Jacksonville, N.C.

The report found that the nation’s largest cities and regions tend to be the most productive areas, as the larger metro areas have higher average labor productivity at $119,000 per worker compared with $99,000 per worker in smaller metros.

San Jose, Calif., the nation’s most productive large metro area, is about twice as productive as McAllen, Texas, the least. The San Jose metro’s labor productivity was $173,971 in 2015, and labor productivity grew 2.72 percent from 1978 to 2015. In McAllen, labor productivity was $85,235, and labor productivity grew 1.23 percent over the 37-year period.

Connecticut metros placed within the top 10 most productive large metro areas: Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn., with labor productivity of $151,618, and 1.9 percent labor productivity growth, and Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Conn., with labor productivity of $148,361, and 1.71 percent labor productivity growth.

The report said large metro areas with the highest productivity levels tend to be on the coasts of California or the Northeast. The report also said that unless a metro economy participated in the energy or tech boom, it was very hard for it to grow beyond more than 1 percent a year. Other small metros that were able to grow at this rate housed major research universities.

In the rank of the 382 metro areas, Norwich-New London, Conn., placed the highest in New England at eighth, for labor productivity growth of 2.16 percent from 1978 to 2015.

The Manchester-Nashua, N.H., metro area ranked 12th for labor productivity growth of 2 percent, while the Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Ma.-N.H., metro area ranked 16th with growth of 1.91 percent.

Data from Moody’s Analytics, which uses federal Bureau of Economic Analysis information, as well as Current Employment Statistics and the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics was used to create the report.

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