Today’s ONS data reveals that the UK’s output per hour worked was lower than France, Germany and the United States in 2021, but higher than Canada and Italy when using the component method.
However, the UK was the only G7 nation to see its annual output per hour worked drop in 2021 (although this excludes Japan because of a lack of data) and ended up 10% lower than the other G7 nations’ average.
Paul McGuckin, Head of Employee Benefits Distribution at leading independent consultancy Broadstone, commented: “The UK’s productivity continues to lie substantially behind many of its major international peers including the USA, France and Germany.
“Of more immediate concern will be the direction of travel with the UK the only G7 nation to see its productivity go into reverse in 2021 following the pandemic. With the economy set to enter recession, the nation’s productivity puzzle will be a key challenge for the Prime Minister and businesses to overcome in the year ahead.
“Productivity has a huge impact on the economy and people’s standard of living. But growing NHS waiting lists, diminishing access to treatment and surging economic inactivity due to ill-health are all weighing on productivity in the UK.
“Businesses that proactively implement effective incentivisation and employee benefits programmes throughout their entire workforce will be best placed to retain staff, drive better performance and grow in a post-Covid landscape.”