International Comparisons of Productivity
New 2004 estimates
GDP per Worker
New data for 2004 continues to show the UK's productivity performance, on a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per worker basis, is lower than that of France and the USA, similar to that of Germany, and above that of Japan.
UK productivity in 2004, as measured by GDP per worker, was behind that of the average of all other G7 countries. The USA continues to be the productivity leader with productivity 24 per cent above that of the UK. Germany's productivity performance was 3 per cent below that of the UK. Differences of a few percentage points between the productivity estimates for individual countries should not be seen as significant, and so the 2004 figures suggest that the UK and Germany have similar levels of productivity.
Revisions to the data covering the period 1990 to 2003 are also included in this release. The revisions are small in magnitude and are mainly the result of revisions to the employment and GDP source data.
Also published today are experimental estimates of international comparisons of GDP per hour worked. GDP per hour worked is currently undergoing a quality assurance review to assess if it meets the quality standards required for it to be classed as a National Statistic. As with GDP per worker, users are advised to allow a margin of error of a few percentage points when making comparisons across countries.
Data for 2004 shows that the ranking of countries, on a GDP per hour worked basis, remains unchanged. The UK was only ahead of Japan, but behind Germany, France and the USA, with France remaining the leader.
Source: Office for National Statistics
Notes: Data sources for this release are as follows: GDP from the OECD Main Economic Indicators, August 2005, PPP estimates from the OECD PPP website, updated July 2005, Employment from OECD Annual Labour Force Statistics, August 2005, Average Hours Worked from OECD Employment Outlook, July 2005.
In previous releases the OECD source for UK employment and average hours worked were adjusted to include Census and other population adjustments, in order to maintain consistency with the ONS Labour Market Release. The OECD source data now includes these Census and population adjustments and so no separate adjustments are made.
Following the methodological change in the compilation of the UK official productivity estimates, with effect from September 2004, the definition of our headline productivity measure, i.e. Gross Value Added (GVA) per worker, for the whole economy is now closer to that used in ICP.