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Recession eats into labour productivity

Labour productivity took a hit last year as the economy went into recession and unemployment rose to 5 percent, Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) said.Productivity fell 1.5 percent for the year to March 2009, on the back of a 2.2 percent decline in real gross

NZPA
Tue, 16 Mar 2010

Labour productivity took a hit last year as the economy went into recession and unemployment rose to 5 percent, Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) said.

Productivity fell 1.5 percent for the year to March 2009, on the back of a 2.2 percent decline in real gross domestic product, or output. However, the dip did not have much effect on the long-term trend of 1.9 percent annual increases in labour productivity, SNZ said.

Falls in the manufacturing and construction sectors drove the decline in output for the period, and the labour market weakened.

"Productivity declined in the March 2009 year as the New Zealand economy went into recession," economic statistics development manager Jude Hughes said.

"There was a large drop in output, with labour taking longer to respond to the fall in demand. This led to a significant fall in labour productivity."

An increase of 3.3 percent in capital investment, and decline in workforce hours of 0.7 percent, did not provide an overall boost to productivity.

Longer term, average annual labour productivity fell 0.3 percent between 2006 and 2009, compared with annual growth of 1.9 percent between 1978-2009.

Annual capital productivity fell 3.1 percent from 2006-09 on average, compared with a 0.7 percent annual fall from 1978-2009, SNZ said.

NZPA
Tue, 16 Mar 2010
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Recession eats into labour productivity
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