BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — As technology and productivity improve in the United States, so too do those who do the country’s many jobs. Over the last ten years, our workforce has seen significant advances — and some industries are experiencing more growth than others.

The largest group that has increased its presence in the workforce has been the information industry, which has shot up 13% since the arrival of modern technology, but there are plenty of other booming businesses. Forms of trade and recreation have also increased more than other fields like insurance, utilities, and mining. But exactly how much have things increased, and are there states that have reported higher increases in productivity than others? A study performed by about increases in productivity over the last 10 years has answers to those questions.

In order to help gather this data, HowtoHome looked at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and calculated the percentage change in the BLS’s recorded productivity index between 2011 and 2021. In the event of a tie, the state with the greater change in real value-added output ended up being placed higher. And as it turns out, North Dakota is one of the states that serve to show that productivity is at an all-time high. Here are the ten states with the largest increase in productivity over the last ten years:

StateIncrease in 10-year productivity
Washington+ 32.2%
North Dakota+ 30.3%
California+ 28.4%
Kansas+ 20.2%
New Hampshire+ 19.3%
Massachusetts + 19.1%
Nebraska+ 18.3%
Colorado+ 18.0%
New York+ 18.0%
Oregon+ 16.4%

Overall, North Dakota was determined to be the state with the second largest change in labor productivity — with our overall number being a massive 30.3% increase, over three times the national average. This isn’t the only thing that the state has over most of the United States. On average, ND has very high levels of change in both productivity and the change in our output. Here are a few of the more specific pieces of data for North Dakota, and how they stack up to the rest of the nation:

North Dakota

  • Percentage change in labor productivity: + 30.3%
  • Percentage change in real value-added output: + 34.2%
  • Percentage change in hours worked: + 3.0%
  • Percentage change in real hourly compensation: + 12.3%


  • Percentage change in labor productivity: + 9.7%
  • Percentage change in real value-added output: + 18.5%
  • Percentage change in hours worked: + 7.0%
  • Percentage change in real hourly compensation: + 16.2%

On the opposite end of the scale, some states have seen negative growth: in Wyoming, the bottom state on the list, labor productivity has actually declined by 5.1%.

While our productivity and added output are tremendous, the other significant changes are also worth noticing. The positive change in our hourly compensation may not be as large as it is on average nationally, but we make up for this with a lower overall number of hours worked. It’s clear to see that wage growth is still secondary to production growth in modern times.

Clearly, the study has good indications but it shows a major issue in the fact that the relationship between productivity and wage has only declined over time. We can only hope that during the next ten-year period, we see a closer connection between the two.

For more information, a full detailed methodology, and the complete results of this study for each state, visit this page on HowtoHome’s website.