Information on Productivity EU, UK, US

D OC donaloc at
Fri Aug 9 05:07:54 MDT 2002

I have attached a link to a html report produced by the British Treasury. It
was written in 1999, although gives a decent snap-shot and review of current
trends at that period.

In particular table 1 is very useful. It indicates that on a basis where
EU15 productivity per capita, per person engaged and per hour worked is 100.
The US scores 151, 132 and 115 respectively. This implies that on
'equivalent' terms the US has only a 15% productivity advantage. However,
because of (a) the greater proportion of US people working {as opposed to
unemployed, studying or in one of the 'economically inactive categories} and
(b) the fact that US workers clearly work greater hours than their EU

The table is worth studying in some detail as there are many trends which
will be of interest. The US trend towards more hours worked, and higher
proportions of persons engaged can be counterposed to that of France and
Belgium which demonstrate the opposite trend.

France and the US have approximately equal productivity rates per hour
worked. Yet, the US has a 50% higher GDP per capita figure.

Of course, this is only part of the issue. GNP figures would be interesting
in comparison (to measure the rate of imperial profit!). Also it would be
more methodologically sound to focus on figures of productivity within the
manufacturing sector alone.

In any case, the paper has rakes of information for budding world systems

I trust that this will give a factual edge to any discussions on EU Vs US
productivity implications.


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