Labour productivity statistics, 2021 Quarter 4

An Official Statistics publication for Scotland.

In 2021, annual labour productivity as measured by output per hour worked remained flat (0.0% growth) compared to 2020. This follows an increase of 0.2% in 2020.

Although there have been rises and falls in quarterly productivity during the last two years, overall output per hours worked has increased slightly over the course of the coronavirus pandemic. This reflects the fact that the reduction in output during this time was largely mirrored by changes in the number of hours worked during periods of lockdown and other restrictions on economic activity.

In 2021 quarter 4 (October to December), output per hour worked in Scotland has increase by 2.3% compared to the same quarter last year, and is 1.0% above the pre-pandemic level in 2019 Quarter 4.


The statistical publication and data are available online.

Labour productivity measures the amount of economic output that is produced, on average, by each unit of labour input, and is an important indicator of economic performance.

The production of labour productivity statistics was paused after May 2020 to allow for the development of monthly GDP statistics and other faster analysis of economic output during the coronavirus pandemic. This is the first publication since the release of data for 2019 Quarter 4.

The key results are presented in real terms, where the effect of price changes has been removed to allow for meaningful comparisons over time. Estimates are for Scotland’s onshore economy.

The release for 2021 Quarter 4 also includes international comparisons of productivity up to 2020, the latest available period.

These estimates are compiled in line with the Code of Practice for Statistics – more information on the standards of official statistics can be accessed on the Code of Practice for Statistics webpage.


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