UK still way behind in productivity compared to main rivals

UK
workers remain much less productive than their counterparts in the US,
Germany
and France, latest statistics show.

Output
per hour worked – the most commonly used measure of labour productivity – is
almost 40 per cent below that in the US,
according to a report from by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

The
productivity gap with France
and Germany
is around 20 per cent.

Looking
at output per worker puts the UK
in a better light, with insignificant differences relative to Germany.

But
while UK
workers produce much the same output as German workers, they work much longer
hours to do so – 16 per cent longer.

The
report explains the persistent productivity gap by saying that the two big
continental European economies have more capital invested per worker.

Workers
in France
and Germany
are also more skilled than those in the UK.

Shortfalls
in investment in physical and human capital account for a small proportion of
the productivity gap with the US.

Half
of that gap is due to different ways of working – how firms are organised and
how they use technology, the report suggests.

By Johann Tasker

 

 

 

 

 

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