PositiveNews Q2-2018 Productivity increased at a 2.9% annual rate, the highest growth rate since Q2-2015. The two most important criteria for economic growth, in my opinion, are employment expansion and productivity. Productivity growth, at 2.9%, stands well above its 1.1% five-year average. Productivity growth measures the average worker’s economic contribution; the higher the productivity the better the output. Sustained productivity ultimately raises standards of living.