It is about time we stopped talking about productivity and start focusing on the true building blocks of the economy, argues Nigel Wilcock of the Institute of Economic Development (IED). We know the problem, UK output per hour worked is low compared to our peers, but as a term it is nebulous and doesn’t help anyone think about a solution. Nobody solved a productivity issue by thinking about productivity. But ‘how can the economy make everyone better off with no extra hours worked?’ Now that is a question which can really motivate us all. his question also raises one uncomfortable point that might be worth addressing – in an uneven economy, is productivity something that organisations have an incentive to pursue? We should start with the basics. What is productivity? Productivity is typically measured as the amount of economic output that can be achieved from an hour of labour. Of … (To read the full article, subscribe below)

Nigel Wilcock

Nigel Wilcock is executive director of the Institute of Economic Development (IED)