China Center Chart of the Week: Labor productivity performance enabled by reform – a key to China’s competitiveness gains

This China Center members-only chart uses GDP per worker as a measure of labor productivity, and reflects the number of working people producing GDP.  The chart shows that China has done a good job catching up, and even surpassing, some emerging market peers on labor productivity. In parallel, China succeeded in creating and sustaining high employment levels.

However, China’s labor productivity growth rates are slowing down rather considerably, even while China’s aggregate labor productivity level is less than 20 percent of the US level (it was 17 percent of the US as of 2011). It is arguably early in China’s development process for labor productivity growth rates to be falling off.

Analyses by the China Center suggest that State-dominated sectors are dragging down productivity levels for the overall economy. Please download the full chart for details.

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