East Asia Becoming More Productive; U.S. Still Leads

The Journal of Employee Assistance, October 2007 | Go to article overview

East Asia Becoming More Productive; U.S. Still Leads


The United States leads all nations in labor productivity per person employed in 2006, despite a rapid increase in productivity in East Asia, where workers now produce twice as much as they did 10 years ago, according to a recent report by the International Labor Organization (ILO).

The report, "Key Indicators of the Labor Market (KILM), fifth Edition," also shows that the productivity gap between the United States and most other developed economies continued to widen in 2006. The productivity of each worker in the United States was valued at U.S. $63,885 of value added per person employed in 2006, compared to $55,986 in Ireland, $55,641 in Luxembourg, $55,235 in Belgium, and $54,609 in France.

Increases in productivity result mainly from firms better combining capital, labor, and technology. While productivity levels have increased worldwide over the past decade, gaps remain large between industrialized regions and most others, although South Asia, East Asia, and Central and Southeastern Europe have begun to catch up. …

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