Low-paid workers falling behind in productivity

Britain's low-paid workers are falling behind on productivity when compared with other countries, according to research.
Productivity in Britain's low-paid jobs is 20 to 30% behind similar roles in Germany, France, the Netherlands and the US, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation say.
The worst performers are the agriculture, arts, entertainment and recreation sectors, with bad management being named as a major factor.Italy was the only major economy to have performed worse than Britain.Britain has been struggling with productivity levels in recent years, with growth during the past decade being the slowest since modern records began.NIESR researcher John Forth said: "Increasing levels of skill and rates of capital investment in low-wage sectors can play a part in closing the UK's relative productivity gap with other countries.
Low-paid workers falling behind in productivity

Agriculture was one of the worst performers
"However, the UK's weakness in these sectors lies at least as much in how skills and technologies are put to use, and so close attention must also be given to management practices and the organisation of work."
Low-paid workers were defined as those with pre-tax earnings below two-thirds of the UK median wage, a category that draws in 46% of workers in retail and 59% of workers in hospitality, for example.On Friday, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said UK overall labour productivity grew by just 0.7% in the fourth quarter last year (October to December) and output per worker grew by just 0.1%.The productivity of UK public services increased by 0.4%, only partly offsetting falls in productivity in the first half of 2017 and resulting in the first annual fall in public service productivity since 2009.
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The ONS also found that the UK still trails other Group of Seven advanced economies, with labour productivity around 16.3% below average.Similar to the findings of the NIESR research, the ONS said that new data suggested a "strong positive association between management practices and firm-level productivity".
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