Latest Labour statistics reveal UK productivity rates

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The latest Employment and Labour Market statistics on UK productivity from January to March 2016 have been released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

UK labour productivity, as measured by output per hour, grew by 0.5 percent from the fourth calendar quarter (Oct to Dec) of 2015 to the first calendar quarter (Jan to Mar) of 2016 and was some 17 percent below an extrapolation based on its pre-downturn trend.

Output per hour in services rose by 0.5 percent in the first quarter on the previous quarter and was 1.1 percent higher than a year earlier. Output per hour in manufacturing rose by 0.7 percent on the previous quarter but was 1.5 percent lower than a year earlier.

Output per worker and output per job were 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent higher in the first quarter compared with the previous quarter, respectively. Average hours worked were broadly unchanged on the quarter, resulting in similar growth rates for each of these measures.

Whole economy unit labour costs were 0.4 percent higher in the first quarter compared with the previous quarter and 1.9 percent higher than the same quarter last year, as earnings and other labour costs have outpaced productivity. Unit wage costs in manufacturing grew by 0.4 percent on the previous quarter and by 2.5 percent compared with Quarter 1 2015.

The edition forms part of the ONS quarterly productivity bulletin which also includes an over-arching commentary, summaries of recently published estimates, and new quarterly estimates of public service productivity.

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