New figures show the productivity of American companies at their highest level in two decades.
Labor Department statistics released Wednesday showed that productivity of U.S. companies, or the amount an employee produces per hour of work, rose at a 9.4 percent annual rate in the third quarter of this year.
This is the best showing in 20 years.
Booming productivity gains translate into better profits, which economists say encourage businesses to expand their activities and hire new workers.
Economists say the report raises new hopes that businesses may be more confident than before that the U.S. economy is in the midst of a solid and durable rebound.