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One of the most important factors in determining living standards is productivity – how much output is produced for a given input (such as an hour of work).

UK labour productivity

In Q3 2022, productivity increased by 0.2% compared with the previous quarter, according to the latest ONS flash estimate. Productivity was around 1.4% higher in Q3 2022 than a year ago (Q3 2021) and also around 1.4% higher than before the pandemic in Q4 2019.

The effects of the pandemic presented significant challenges in the measurement of productivity. This likely means underlying productivity trends will be difficult to discern for a little while yet.

UK productivity level since 2000

Historically, UK labour productivity has grown by around 2% per year but since the 2008/2009 recession it has stagnated (see chart above).

International comparisons

In 2021, ranked on GDP per hour worked, the UK came fourth highest out of the G7 countries, with the US top and Japan bottom. UK productivity was around 20% below the US.

Comparisons of G7 productivity level in 2021


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