Skip to content

Video Summary: Labour Productivity

Released: 27 September 2013

Transcript – Labour Productivity


This is a transcript of the video podcast which can be viewed at:

http://youtu.be/hddV7nMUzls


Title

This is a short video looking at labour productivity in the second quarter of 2013.


What is Labour Productivity?

Labour Productivity measures the amount of economic output that is produced by a unit of labour input.


What is Labour Productivity?

It can be determined in terms of output per worker, output per hours worked, and output per job. Output per hours worked is the preferred measure.


Output per Hour after Recessions

We will now look at how output per hour has changed, per quarter, after the recessions of 1973, 1979, 1990 and 2008, using this chart.

Shortly after the end of the 1973, 1979 and 1990 recessions, output per hour began to grow strongly, however, since the 2008 recession, shown by the black line, output per hour has continued to fall.

For the 1990 recession, output per hour exceeded its pre recessionary level within three quarters. After the 1973 and 1979 recessions, output per hour exceeded its pre recessionary levels in 6 quarters. 22 quarters after the 2008 recession, output per hour has not yet reached its pre recessionary level.


The Productivity Conundrum

Next we will use this chart to illustrate the productivity conundrum. It shows changes in output, shown in red, hours worked, shown in green, and productivity, shown in blue, which has been indexed to the first quarter of 2008. So above the dotted 100 line the level is above that of Q1 2008, and below the dotted line means that the level is still below its pre recessionary levels.

The figure shows that while hours worked recovered to its pre recessionary value in the third quarter of 2012, output, while growing, is still between 3 and 4 percentage points below its pre recessionary value, and productivity is still 5 percentage points below its pre recessionary value.


Output per Hour Q2 2013


Now we will look at how output per hour has changed per quarter from the 2008 recession until the second quarter of 2013, shown by the blue bars. It also shows how it has changed compared to the same quarter a year ago, shown by the red line.

UK labour productivity increased by 0.5% in the second quarter of 2013, shown by the red rectangle. The change on the quarter a year ago was -0.5%, highlighted by the black circle.


END

 

This is a short video looking at Labour Productivity.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Background notes

  1. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.