Productivity Requires Skills and Technology Investment
“An international study on productivity shows that New Zealand needs to invest more in technology and improving the skills of its workers,” says CTU economist Peter Conway.
The ILO study shows New Zealand workers worked an average of 1816 hours each last year, just eight hours fewer than their Australian counterparts Yet Australian workers hourly output was 34% higher at $US 26.95, compared to an average hourly output of $US20.05 for New Zealand workers.
“New Zealand workers are working virtually the same hours but the Australian workers are more productive. There are a number of reasons for this. Two of them are that Australian business invests more in training their workers and they invest more in technology,” says Peter Conway.
“New Zealand spent the 1990s on a failed economic experiment of driving down labour costs when we should have been investing in producing a highly skilled workforce.”
“We also need more managers who recognise that
workers are their number one asset. We have too many who
just see workers as a cost that has to be cut.”