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Purpose Target: Productivity

Performance Improving 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 improved in 2015. Scotland is ranked in the second quartile, in joint 16th position of 36 countries. In 2015 productivity levels in Scotland were 78.8% of the lowest level in the top quartile (Germany).

Performance Improving Supplementary information: real terms productivity in Scotland

In 2015, productivity in Scotland increased by 3.5% in real terms. Output per hour worked is now 9.4% higher in real terms than in 2007, prior to the recession.

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: 14 March 2017
Next Update: March 2018

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 2015 Scotland was ranked in joint 16th place (out of 36 countries) for productivity levels amongst OECD countries, placing Scotland in the second quartile. In 2014, the latest figures (which include revisions to previous years) indicate that Scotland was ranked 19th. This means that there has been an improvement in the latest year.

Since the baseline position of 2006, Scotland’s productivity rank has improved. Between 2006 and 2011 it remained at 18th, before falling to 19th between 2012 and 2014. In 2015 Scotland’s productivity rank rose to 16th. These figures have been revised from the results indicated last year following an exceptional revision to PPP data for all European countries for the years 1995-2012. Further information on this revision is available from the OECD and Eurostat.

2015 GDP per hour worked

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

2015

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 2015, output per hour worked in Scotland increased by 3.5% in real terms (constant prices), following growth of 0.9% in 2014. Productivity is now 9.4% higher in real terms than in 2007, prior to the recession.

This measure does not include the impacts of price inflation and currency exchange rates which influence the relative productivity levels between countries when measured using Purchasing Power Parity, and therefore focuses on the underlying movement in productivity in Scotland.

1998 - 2015

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.

Further Information

For information on general methodological approach, please click here.

Scotland Performs Technical Note

Statistics Topic Page

View Purpose Target Data

Downloadable document:

Title:Productivity
Description:Productivity
File:Productivity [XLS, 346.1 kb: 13 Mar 2017]
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