Labour productivity in the Netherlands grew by 3.3 percent in the first six months of 2004. In the period 200-2003 the average annual increase in productivity average was only 0.4 percent.
Productivity picks up after reversal of economic situation
Stepped-up labour productivity is the result of a recovery of production coinciding with a decrease in employment.
In 1983 and 1993 a similar trend could be observed when recovery of employment was delayed after the economy picked up. As a result labour productivity grew sharply in 1983 and 1994.
Increased productivity in manufacturing industry and construction
The most substantial increase in productivity was found in manufacturing industry (6.5 percent) and construction (6.5 percent). In these sectors the decline in employment was relatively big, while the production growth rate was high. Productivity also grew noticeably in the trade and transport sectors (4.6 percent) and financial and business services (4.0 percent).
Increase in labour productivity
Trend: labour productivity continues to fall
Over a longer period the increase in labour productivity declined. From 1949 to 1980 the average annual increase in labour productivity was more than 3 percent. In the period 1980-1989 the average annual growth dwindled to 1.7 percent. In the period 1990–1999 the average annual increase in productivity amounted to 1.1 percent.
Frederik Heinsius and Gert-Jan van Steeg