According to official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) the productivity of UK workers has fallen to pre-financial crisis levels. The hourly output fell by 0.5% during the first three months of the year.
At the end of 2016, productivity had returned to the level that was seen just before the downturn but it has now slipped back again. The level currently sits below the peak recorded at the end of 2007 at 0.4%.
Head of productivity at ONS, Philip Wales said “UK labour productivity growth has struggled since the 2008 economic downturn, and the fall in the first quarter of 2017 brings to an end a recent run of quarters of positive growth.”
The UK has had a steady recovery since the financial crisis, but it has been helped by more people working and longer working hours. Unfortunately, productivity has failed to grow consistently, which has raised concerns for businesses. These new figures act as a sharp reminder that Brexit is not the only challenge that the UK is facing.