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We investigate the controversial issue whether unemployment is related to productivity growth in the long run, using U.S. data in a framework of infrequent mean shifts. Tests find (endogenously dated) shifts in 1973/74 and 1994/95, system techniques indicate that the shifts are common features, and the implied long-run link between the two variables is negative. Therefore the secular decline of unemployment since the mid 1990s indeed stemmed from higher average productivity growth. The initialdoi:10.2202/1935-1690.1818 fatcat:s47cpakk35hj3e474lxlw7abwe