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Purpose Target: Productivity

 To rank in the top quartile for productivity against our key trading partners in the OECD by 2017

Current Status

Scotland’s productivity rank among OECD member countries has been maintained in 2016. Scotland is ranked in the third quartile, in 19th position of 36 countries. In 2016 productivity levels in Scotland were 75.7% of the lowest level in the top quartile (Netherlands).

d Supplementary information: real terms productivity in Scotland

In 2016, productivity in Scotland decreased by 1.4% in real terms. Output per hour worked in 2016 was 7.8% higher in real terms than the pre-recession level in 2007.

Please note - real terms productivity is monitored to provide a more complete picture of productivity within Scotland. This does not affect the assessment of progress towards the Purpose Target - To rank in the top quartile for productivity against our key trading partners in the OECD by 2017.

Last Update: ​27th February 2018
Next Update: February 2019

Productivity

Why is this Purpose Target important?
What will influence this Purpose Target?
What is the Government's role?
How is Scotland performing?
Criteria for recent change
Further information

Why is this Purpose Target important?

Productivity is a measure of how well an economy uses resources to produce output and is a fundamental determinant of international competitiveness and living standards. Improving an economy’s productivity performance is important to improving sustainable economic growth, and also to improving wages and living standards over the longer term.

Productivity is generally measured as the amount of output (goods and services) produced in an economy adjusted for the amount of labour (i.e. the number of workers or hours worked) used to produce that level of output. Improving Scotland’s productivity is central to achieving the twin aims of Scotland’s Economic Strategy (SES): improving economic competitiveness and tackling inequality.  Each of the four priorities for growth identified in the SES – Investment, Innovation, Inclusive Growth, and Internationalisation – have important roles in helping improve Scotland’s productivity performance.

What will influence this Purpose Target?

International evidence identifies a range of drivers that influence productivity performance, including:

  • Investment in Infrastructure
  • Resource Efficiency
  • Innovative and progressive workplaces
  • A skilled, educated and adaptable workforce
  • Innovation, Commercialisation and Research and Development (R&D)
  • Enterprise
  • Effective and efficient public services
  • A competitive business environment

What is the Government's role?

Scotland’s Economic Strategy identifies actions under each of the four priority areas for growth that will help to improve Scotland’s productivity performance, including:

  • Investing in Scotland’s infrastructure, including transport, education and housing
  • Developing Scotland’s digital infrastructure and skills
  • Improving educational attainment
  • Developing Scotland’s young workforce
  • Encouraging workplace innovation and improving the quality of workplaces
  • Promoting fair work and inclusive workplace approaches
  • Supporting enterprise, innovation and business growth
  • Supporting innovative collaborations between businesses, universities and others
  • Helping Scottish businesses to grow and compete internationally

How is Scotland performing?

Purpose Target:

The evaluation is based on any change in Scotland’s productivity rank among OECD members. In 2016 Scotland was ranked in 19th place (out of 36 countries) for productivity levels amongst OECD countries, placing Scotland in the third quartile. In 2015, the latest figures (which include revisions to previous years) indicate that Scotland was ranked 19th. This means that there has been no change in the latest year.

Since the baseline position of 2006, Scotland’s productivity rank has worsened. Between 2007 and 2009 it fell to 19th, before rising to 18th between 2010 and 2011. Since 2012 Scotland’s productivity rank has remained at 19th. These figures have been revised from the results indicated last year following a revision to PPP data for the United Kingdom for the years 2013-2015. Further information on this revision is available from the OECD and Eurostat.

USA=100

Sources: Productivity Levels, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Scottish Labour Productivity 1998-2015, Scottish Government

The data for this chart is available at the bottom of the page

Time series chart

Sources: Productivity Levels, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Scottish Labour Productivity 1998-2015, Scottish Government

The data for this chart is available at the bottom of the page

Supplementary Information:

The evaluation is based on the annual (year on year) percentage change in Scotland’s real terms productivity index. In 2016, output per hour worked in Scotland decreased by 1.4% in real terms (constant prices), following growth of 3.3% in 2015. In 2016, productivity was 7.8% higher in real terms than in 2007, prior to the recession.

1998 - 2016

Source: Scottish Labour Productivity 1998-2015, Scottish Government

The data for this chart is available at the bottom of the page

Criteria for recent change

Purpose Target:

This evaluation is based on: any change in Scotland’s ranking within the OECD. An increase in the rank indicates that performance is improving; whereas a decrease in the rank indicates that performance is worsening.

Supplementary Information:

The evaluation is based on the annual (year on year) percentage change in Scotland’s real terms productivity index. A change of at least +/- 0.1% indicates that performance is improving or worsening. An increase of less than +/- 0.1% indicates no significant change and that performance is maintaining. The assessment is made on unrounded data, but growth is normally reported rounded to the nearest 0.1%.

Further Information

For information on general methodological approach, please click here.

Scotland Performs Technical Note

Statistics Topic Page

View Purpose Target Data

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Title:Productivity
Description:Productivity
File:Productivity [XLS, 316.4 kb: 21 Mar 2018]
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