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Productivity Stats Show Need to Expand Challenge

New Productivity Statistics Show Need to Expand the Focus of the Productivity Challenge

Press Statement from Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce

The Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce welcomed today’s publication by the Department of Statistics of new statistics on labour and multifactor productivity in the private sector. These give a more accurate picture of New Zealand’s productivity picture than has been available before. The figures also exclude Government administration and defence, and other sectors dominated by Government activity – education and health. Personal services, property and business services are also excluded from the statistics.

“At a macro level, New Zealand has been underperforming vis a vis key competitors such as Australia. But these statistics show that in the measured sectors, performance has actually been better than we had thought. In the labour productivity area in particular, New Zealand has actually performed better than Australia since 1993”, observed Charles Finny, Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO. “The figures also show that multifactor productivity growth has been lower than labour productivity growth in eight out of the last 10 years,” he noted.

“We applaud the Government’s focus on productivity, and we are working closely with Government on growing workplace productivity more quickly. But today’s statistics show clearly that it is important to expand the focus of activity beyond the workplace to multifactor productivity. This will mean a focus on tax, on infrastructure and on productivity in the Government sector, and those sectors dominated by Government. The Chamber looks forward to working with government on the expansion of its productivity agenda,” Charles Finny concluded.


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