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UK labour productivity since the onset of the crisis — an international and historical perspective

  • Hughes, Abigail


    (Bank of England)

  • Saleheen, Jumana


    (Bank of England)

UK labour productivity has been persistently weak since the onset of the recent financial crisis. This suggests that there is significant spare capacity within UK companies, but business surveys instead point to little spare capacity. This article aims to shed light on this puzzle by looking at cross-country and historical evidence. It finds that it has been unusual to see persistently weak labour productivity after previous financial crises in advanced economies. UK labour productivity stands out as being weak relative to historic episodes; it is also weak compared to other countries in the recent crisis. This weakness is concentrated in the energy and service sectors, suggesting the supply potential of the economy has grown more slowly than usual since the start of the crisis.

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Article provided by Bank of England in its journal Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin.

Volume (Year): 52 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 138-146

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Handle: RePEc:boe:qbullt:0077
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  1. Disney, Richard F & Haskel, Jonathan & Heden, Ylva, 2000. "Restructuring And Productivity Growth In UK Manufacturing," CEPR Discussion Papers 2463, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 8973.
  3. Faccini, Renato & Hackworth, Christopher, 2010. "Changes in output, employment and wages during recessions in the United Kingdom," Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, Bank of England, vol. 50(1), pages 43-50.
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