Commentary – Productivity

UK labour productivity has grown at just under 2% on average since 1960, but since 2008 it has stalled.

Compared with other major industrial nations UK productivity grew quickly in the 1990s and early 2000s. The recent stalling in productivity seen in the UK can be seen in other countries since 2007, and especially in Italy since 2000.

UK productivity was around 17% lower in 2011 than the G7 average. In 2006 it was 12% lower.

On a wider international comparison the UK’s average annual productivity growth in the years 2000-2014/5 was, like the rest of ‘old Europe’ (e.g. Italy, France, Germany and Spain) relatively low. The performance of countries in ‘new Europe’ (e.g. the Slovak and the Czech Republics, Poland and Hungary), was noticeably stronger. Italy’s performance has been especially weak.

Data

Sources
Productivity
1. UK seasonally-adjusted Quarterly (1955q3-) Output per worker: whole economy: Index 2016=100. Source ONS, Series Code A4YM.

2. UK seasonally-adjusted Quarterly (1955q2-) Output per filled job: whole economy: Index 2016=100. Source ONS, Series Code LNNN.

3. UK seasonally-adjusted Quarterly (1971q1-) Output per hour worked: whole economy: Index 2016 = 100. Source ONS, Series Code LZVB.


The source for the following four series is International Comparisons of Productivity – First Estimates, 2013, ONS.

4. Selected countries’ Annual (1990-) Indices of Current Price GDP per hour worked, UK=100.

5. Selected countries’ Annual (1990-) Indices of Current Price GDP per worker, UK=100.

6. Selected countries’ Annual (1990-) Indices of Constant Price GDP per hour worked, 2007=100.

7. Selected countries’ Annual (1990-) Indices of Constant Price GDP worker, 2007=100.


8. Selected countries’ Annual GDP per hour worked 2005=100. Source: OECD.

Data series
Quarterly data on UK productivity Variables UK seasonally-adjusted Output per worker, Output per filled job, and Output per hour worked. Annual Data on Productivity of UK and other countries Variables Annual Indices of Current Price GDP per hour worked, UK=100, of Current Price GDP per worker, UK=100, of Constant Price GDP per hour worked, 2007=100, of Constant Price GDP worker, 2007=100, and of GDP per hour worked 2005=100.

Download data
All Labour Market data (Unemployment, Productivity, Wages, Earnings and Labour Costs) are available in Excel xlsx format: