Belfast Telegraph

UK productivity trailing behind

By Jamie Grierson

The productivity of UK workers is lagging behind most of the world's wealthiest nations, official figures revealed.

Gross domestic product (GDP) per worker in the UK - a broad measure for the value of goods per person in the country - fell relative to all G7 countries except Italy and Germany last year.

Overall, UK GDP per worker was only higher than Japan's measure in 2010, the Office for National Statistics said, while the productivity gap between the UK and US, the G7 leader, in 2010 was the widest since 1994.

The ONS also said productivity growth in 2010 was less than the G7 average in terms of both GDP per worker and GDP per hour worked.

The dismal figures are likely to raise fears over the UK's fragile economic recovery and growth prospects, after a raft of data pointed towards a recent poor performance.

The ONS has used GDP per worker as a measure of productivity in the G7 countries.

GDP per worker is often used as a measure of a country's standard of living. It is roughly calculated by dividing a nation's GDP - a broad measure of the total economy - by the working population.