US Workers Stretched Thin With productivity decreasing, companies may need to hire By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Aug 10, 2010 1:55 PM CDT 23 comments Comments With hours up, productivity is down. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – The employed portion of the US workforce is feeling burnt out. According to new numbers from the Labor Department, productivity fell 0.9% this quarter, as the time workers spent on the job rose faster than the economic output they produced. That means companies could soon be forced to hire more people at last if they want to grow, CNN reports. “A lot of companies have reached the limit of how much they can slash their workforce and work existing employees to the bone,” says one economist. “At some point, even weak spending growth will require businesses to hire more people to meet the demand.” US productivity raised a more-than-usual 3.5% last year amidst widespread layoffs, and that, the analysts say, is part of the reason for the current downturn; workers can’t keep up that pace.