US continues to lead global productivity race
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US continues to lead global productivity race

April 21, 2022 | Chart

Among major economies and regions, the United States has the highest rate of production of goods and services per hour worked, with only a few small European economies outperforming it. Productivity rates in most parts of the world are well below the US’. Indeed, according to research conducted by The Conference Board, nearly 75% of the global population lives in economies where productivity rates are below the global average of US$21.6 per hour worked.

In the past, there was a mixed record of other economies catching up with US productivity leadership. Major European economies converged towards and in some cases exceeded US rates in the 1990s, but have since fallen behind. Japan also saw convergence with the US wane around that time. Among major emerging economies, some have fallen further behind the US, such as Mexico and Brazil, while others (particularly in Asia) continue to converge. Productivity rates in large Asian economies such as China, India and Indonesia are still well below the US’s (about 10-20 percent), suggesting substantial catchup potential remains.

For more information about productivity trends around the world, please see our new report Global Labor Productivity: Stagnating, But Still Above Prepandemic Levels

AUTHOR

Klaasde Vries

Former Senior Economist
The Conference Board


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