Some Productivity News - July 2019

Published: 15.07.2019

  • On July 3, 2019, the Centre for the Study of Living Standards (CSLS) released the Spring 2019 issue of its flagship publication, the renowned International Productivity Monitor. The issue, guest edited by Dale Jorgenson from Harvard University, features nine papers from the Fifth World KLEMS Conference held at the Kennedy School at Harvard University in June 2018.
  • Last year the McKinsey Global Institute published a report on “Solving the productivity puzzle”. New research, say the authors, “uncovers how three waves collided to create historically low productivity growth but finds the potential for it to recover to 2 percent or more.”
    From  you can also download a Briefing Note, the Executive Summary and the Full Report.
  • 2019, OECD’s annual Employment Outlook covers The Future of Work. It presents new evidence on changes in job stability, underemployment and the share of well-paid jobs, and discusses the policy implications of these changes with respect to how technology, globalisation, population ageing, and other megatrends are transforming the labour market in OECD countries.
  • According to BBC News, 5 July 2019, stagnant productivity 'costs workers £5,000 a year' as conveyed by Katherine Kent, head of productivity at the British Office for National Statistics (ONS).
  • “Unconventional monetary policy and productivity”, an OECD Working Paper released 14 January 2019, examines the relationship between lax monetary policy, access to high-yield bond markets and productivity in the US between 2008 and 2016.
  • The Council of the European Union in September 2016 issued a recommendation on the establishment of National Productivity Boards. We present a list of countries having set up such boards:
    Cyprus: Cyprus Economy and Competitiveness Council established in June 2018
    France: The Conseil National de Productivité (CNP) was established on 23 June 2018
    Greece: The Centre of Planning and Economic Research (KEPE) was founded in 1959
    Ireland: The National Competitiveness Council is an independent council established by government decision in 1997
    Lithuania: A group of analysts based in the Economic Policy Unit of the Economic Development Department of the Ministry of Economy performs the function of a National Productivity Board
    Luxembourg: Luxembourg’s National productivity board, the Conseil national de la productivité (CNP), was created in September 2018
    The Netherlands: Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB) was founded in 1945 by Jan Tinbergen, First Nobel Laureate in economics (1969)
    Portugal: The Council for Productivity was established in March 20, 2018
    Slovenia: The Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development (IMAD) is an independent government office with a long tradition
    Denmark: Danish Economic Councils consists of two councils with one joint, independent chairmanship
    Hungary: the Hungarian Government decided in 2016 to set up the National Competitiveness Council (NCC)
    Romania: The Council of Economic Programming (CEP) was designated as the national productivity board of Romania in 2018
  • As part of the International Labor Comparisons Program the Conference Board presents, in its July 2018 release, key findings of the “International Comparisons of Manufacturing Productivity and Unit Labor Costs”. The findings show – among other things - that labor cost growth continues to outpace productivity growth worldwide.
  • Labour productivity, UK: January to March 2019 has been released 5 July 2019 by ONS, the UK Office for National Statistics. The report covers output per hour, output per job and output per worker for the whole economy and a range of industries. Labour productivity, as measured on an output per hour basis, decreased by 0.2% compared with Quarter 1, 2018. “This sustained period of declining labour productivity represents a continuation of the UK's ‘productivity puzzle’, with productivity since the economic downturn in 2008 growing more slowly than during the long period prior to downturn.”