The learning curve graphically portrays how employees gain in efficiency at an initially rapid rate as they conduct a task numerous times, after which the efficiency gains slow down or stop. The concept also applies to when a person is tasked with absorbing a large amount of information. When a learning curve initially ascends steeply, this means that knowledge is being absorbed and converted into more efficient behavior at a rapid rate. The concept is used in business to estimate reductions in labor costs as unit volumes rise, so that higher production volumes result in lower labor costs per unit.
The vertical axis of a learning curve represents the rate of learning, while the horizontal axis represents the volume or duration of experience.
The learning curve is also known as an experience curve.