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ONS Labour Productivity Figures - CIPD response

Commenting on the latest ONS UK Labour Productivity figures, Ian Brinkley, Acting Chief Economist at the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, said:

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“These findings show again that the Brexit negotiations are not the only major challenge facing the UK. The short term fall in productivity comparing the three months to March 2018 with the previous three months is disappointing but not surprising, given the unexpectedly strong employment performance and weak economic growth over the period. The underlying trend looking at changes over the past twelve months remains one of very weak growth. There is no sign that the economy is currently moving back to towards the much faster productivity growth rates that were the norm before the financial crash.

“Unless policy-makers start to think more innovatively about implementing the Industrial Strategy and addressing the long tail of poorly-managed firms in this country - particularly amongst the UK’s 1.2 million businesses employing between 1 and 50 employees - it is difficult to see how we will start to close the productivity gap with our key competitors. An area policy-makers should be focusing more on is providing much better local business support to small firms on people management, as this is key to achieving the marginal gains in capability that over time can boost workplace productivity levels.”