High Level Summary of Statistics Trend Last update: October, 2011
Labour productivity - defined as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per hour worked - measures the amount of goods and services (output) that is produced, on average, from an hour of work. The most productive economies can produce higher levels of output from an hour of work. The chart presents the ranking of OECD countries in terms of productivity in 2009. In order to allow comparisons across countries the OECD use purchasing power parities (PPPs) to take account of differences in price levels between countries and to convert national currencies into dollars.
In 2009 Scotland was ranked 17th (out of 32 countries) in terms of productivity levels across OECD countries - this placed Scotland at the top of the third quartile. However, Scotland currently sits amongst a group of countries (including Australia, Spain, Finland and the UK) where there are only small differences in productivity levels. Since 2002 Germany has been the lowest ranked country in the top quartile. As overall productivity growth has been higher in Scotland than in Germany over the period 2002 to 2009 there has been a narrowing of the gap between productivity levels in Scotland and Germany (and therefore between Scotland and the top quartile) - with Scottish productivity levels increasing from 81.1% of levels in Germany in 2002 to 86.3% in 2009. The gap between Scotland and Germany has narrowed by 3.8 percentage points between 2008 and 2009.
It is important to interpret recent productivity performance in the context of the global downturn, which has resulted in falls in output and a deterioration in labour market conditions across most OECD countries. However, the timing and nature of these adjustments has varied across economies, resulting in differences in recent productivity performance across the OECD. For example, the improvement in Scotland's productivity performance relative to Germany in 2009 reflects: (1) a relatively higher rate of deterioration in labour market conditions in Scotland in 2009; and (2) a slightly lower rate of decline in GDP in Scotland during 2009.
View chart data