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Labour Productivity: Quarterly: a data cube slice

The average amount of economic output produced per job and per hour worked in Scotland.

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About the Dataset
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In dataset
Next update due
8th May 2019

Labour productivity measures the amount of economic output that is produced, on average, by each unit of labour input, and is an important indicator of economic performance. Labour productivity statistics for Scotland are produced by the Scottish Government and have been designated as Official Statistics.

Labour productivity is a derived statistic which means that it is not directly estimated, but is based on separate estimates for economic output and labour input. It is calculated by dividing a measure of output (gross value added, GVA) by a measure of input (number of jobs or total number of hours worked). An increase in GVA or a decrease in jobs/hours contributes toward an increase in labour productivity whilst a decrease in GVA or an increase in jobs/hours contributes toward a decrease.

Labour input is measured in terms of the number of jobs in the economy (giving a measure of output per job), and also the total number of hours worked (giving output per hour worked). Output per hour worked is usually viewed as the most comprehensive indicator of whole economy labour productivity and taken as the headline measure. Output statistics (gross value added, GVA) are sourced from Scottish Government quarterly national accounts statistics. Labour input measures (number of jobs filled and number of hours worked) are consistent with the quarterly NUTS1 results for countries and regions published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This dataset contains two measures of quarterly labour productivity growth, detailed below. For data relating to annual (calendar year) labour productivity, see the Labour Productivity: Annual dataset.

  • 4q-on-4q is the percentage change (growth rate) for the latest four quarters compared to the previous four non-overlapping quarters. This growth rate is calculated using the seasonally adjusted index and is usually taken as the headline measure of quarterly labour productivity growth. This rate corresponds to annual growth in the fourth quarter of each year.
  • q-on-q is the percentage change (growth rate) for the latest quarter compared to the previous quarter and is calculated using the trend-based index of labour productivity. The trend-based measure indicates the underlying change in productivity after the removal of irregular volatility from the series, as well as recurring seasonal features. This can be used to identify underlying short term changes in a more timely way than the 4q-on-4q measure, however the seasonally adjusted series is preferable for calculating longer-term changes and average growth rates in the series.

The productivity measures are in real terms (adjusted for inflation) and are suitable for analysis of changes in performance over time. The seasonally adjusted and trend based series are indexed to a reference year (2007=100) in order to focus on movements in labour productivity since the onset of recession in 2008. An index value of more than 100 means that productivity is higher than in the reference year, and a value of less than 100 means that output is lower than in the reference year.

The indices are rounded to 4 decimal places and the growth rate measures are rounded to 1 decimal place. It is not always possible to replicate the published growth rates using rounded data, but all results are also available unrounded in the downloadable spreadsheets from the latest publication.

Further information about these statistics and the methods used to produce them is available in the background notes of the latest statistical bulletin and in the accompanying methodology document.

Confidentiality Policy
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Quality Management
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Accuracy and Reliability

Scotland's Labour Productivity Statistics are designated as Official Statistics. All Official Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics and undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs and are produced free from any political interference.

Labour productivity estimates are derived statistics produced using simple calculations on other source statistics. Their quality and accuracy is therefore dependent on the output and labour input data. While there are some known issues with the consistency between GVA and labour market statistics due to factors including the different survey sources, workforce residency and commuting effects, and differing definitions of business unit classifications, the data sources used to produce these estimates are all individually recognised to be of high quality and are designated as such.

Coherence and Comparability

Alternative statistics are available from the Office for National Statistics which are consistent with the NUTS1 Gross Value Added (Balanced approach) produced for all countries and regions of the UK. ONS estimates of GVA differ from Scottish Government estimates because of adjustments made by the Scottish Government during the production of Supply and Use Tables which balance estimates of GVA using Production and Expenditure data sources as well as Income.

Estimates of labour productivity are derived directly from GVA statistics, and are often analysed alongside GVA and GDP. It is therefore important that productivity statistics should be used in context with the GVA data they are consistent with. For users of Scottish Government GDP and Quarterly National Accounts Scotland statistics, the recommended productivity statistics are those published by the Scottish Government. Users of ONS Regional GVA statistics are recommended to continue using the ONS Regional Productivity statistics as a consistent product. Likewise, users who focus primarily on productivity statistics should ensure that any comparison to GVA or GDP makes reference to the consistent product.

Accessibility and Clarity
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Labour Productivity is an important indicator of economic performance.

Timeliness and Punctuality
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This slice of multidimensional data is not a Linked Data resource in the database: it's a virtual resource (i.e. you can't query it by SPARQL). But does have a permanent unique URL which can be bookmarked.