Labour productivity

The data in this indicator is no longer being updated.

Stats NZ is developing well-being indicators, Indicators Aotearoa New Zealand - Ngā Tūtohu Aotearoa, to track New Zealand’s progress. As the well-being indicators have similar aims to the NZ Progress Indicators and NZ Social Indicators, we are reviewing the future of these existing indicators.

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Positive change

Since 1987, labour productivity has increased an average of 2.0 percent a year

  • Image, labour productivity
    • Between 1987 and 2015, average annual growth in labour productivity was 2.0 percent. This was primarily the result of output (as measured by real gross domestic product (GDP)) growing 2.2 percent a year.
    • In 2015, labour productivity increased 0 percent, output increased 4.2 percent, and labour input (measured as hours paid) increased 4.2 percent. 
    • Labour productivity relates to the former measured sector of the economy, divided into three broad groups: primary, goods-producing, and services. 


    Note: This graph is interactive. Hover over the data points to see the exact values.

    View source data

    The source data for this indicator is available from Statistics NZ's productivity statistics. To view these go to Infoshare and enter this table reference in the search box: PRD014AA.

    Definition and measure

    Labour productivity is a measure of the efficiency of the labour force, that is, output per hour paid. Growth in labour productivity implies an increase in the efficiency and competitiveness of the economy.

    The labour productivity measure covered approximately 58 percent of the entire economy in 2012. The industries covered are defined as the ‘former measured sector’ and consist of industries for which estimates of inputs and outputs are independently derived in constant prices. The 'former measured sector' is ANZSIC06 divisions A to K, and R. See the data quality section of Productivity Statistics 1978–2014 for further details.

    Labour productivity is the ratio of output (as measured by real GDP) to labour input (measured as hours paid) for the 'former measured sector'.

    Excluded are those industries for which real value-added in the New Zealand System of National Accounts is largely measured using input methods, such as the number of employees. This is mainly government non-market industries that provide services – such as administration and defence – free or at nominal charges.

    Technical changes since 2010

    The starting date for the labour productivity indicator is 1987, not 1985, which it was in Key findings on New Zealand's progress using a sustainable development approach: 2010. This is to align better with the conceptual framework underpinning NZ progress indicators Tupuranga Aotearoa.  

    Previous publications

    Key findings on New Zealand's progress using a sustainable development approach: 2010
    Measuring New Zealand's progress using a sustainable development approach: 2008
    Key findings on New Zealand's progress using a sustainable development approach: 2008

    Page updated June 2016

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