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Productivity

Since March 2006, Statistics NZ has produced a yearly release of official measures of annual productivity for the measured sector. These measures are vital to better understanding improvements in New Zealand's living standards, economic performance, and international competitiveness over the long term. Productivity is often defined as a ratio between economic output and the inputs, such as labour and capital, which go into producing that output.

The first official measures of labour, capital, and multifactor productivity were released on 28 March 2006. Productivity measures now cover the years 1988 to 2011. Growth cycle analysis is used, with three complete cycles identified from 1988 to 2011. These growth cycles will help in interpreting the results of the series and provide additional insights into the nature of the New Zealand economy.

Industry-level productivity statistics were first released on 25 June 2010. Labour, capital, and multifactor productivity estimates are available for 25 of New Zealand's industries. For all but three of those, the estimates extend back to 1988. These statistics now cover the years 1988 to 2010.

An experimental labour composition-adjusted productivity series, which accounts for changes in the skill of workers, has also been released. This currently runs from 1998 to 2011. This development gives a more specific labour and multifactor productivity measure, covering both the time and skill aspects of labour. It also allows for more in-depth analysis of the contributors to GDP growth.

The productivity series use existing Statistics NZ data sources. Key data sources for the labour input series are the Quarterly Employment Survey, Household Labour Force Survey, Linked Employer-Employee Data, and Census of Population and Dwellings. The capital input series is constructed using national accounts capital stock data, supplemented with land data supplied by Quotable Value. The output measure is constant price GDP from the national accounts.

In addition to updating the series to the latest year, the key priority for the development of productivity statistics is to expand the measured sector to include the health and education industries.

Latest releases

For the latest releases, please go to Productivity statistics – information Releases.

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