Productivity update

As usual, Wednesday’s labour market figures grabbed the attention of most people with the focus once again on the sustained rise in employment and fall in unemployment over the year.

However with Scotland’s labour market close to ‘record’ levels but more fragile growth in the economy overall, another set of statistics also published on Wednesday laid out the ongoing productivity challenge facing our economy.Continue reading

November 17, 2017

Scotland’s recent productivity performance – is it all good news?

Last month, updated figures for labour market productivity in Scotland were published. They showed a relatively sharp jump in productivity– a rise of 3.5% in 2015.

This led the Scottish Government to conclude that the “figures show that Scotland’s productivity performance has grown around four times faster than the UK, providing further evidence of Scotland’s economic strength.”

This blog examines the recent trend in productivity in Scotland, and we unpick the numbers to see if they are as positive as would initially appear. Continue reading

March 3, 2017

Productivity matters more than ever!

Jeremy Peat, Visiting Professor, IPPI, University of Strathclyde. First appeared on IPPI Blog.

Despite the Brexit vote economic life goes on, and more than ever we need to work through how Scotland’s economic performance can be enhanced. Nobody knows precisely what life beyond the referendum vote will actually mean for the UK; let alone what lies ahead for Scotland. However, in order to minimise the risks within our economy, and maximise the prospects for prosperity, businesses in Scotland must be innovative and competitive. As set out in my IPPI Policy Brief some months back that implies a real focus on improving productivity across our economy.

Apparently ‘productivity’ is not a regular feature of debate in business circles. But it should be. It simply means output per unit of input – how efficient we are in producing goods and services. Overall growth in our economy, the increase in Gross Domestic Product, comes from increased productivity plus population growth. But increased affluence, increased output per head of the population, relates to productivity growth alone.

Continue reading

July 1, 2016