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Half of the U.S… 20th among the 25 OECD Nations

Posted February. 18, 2002 09:19,   


Korea’s value-added labor productivity was found to be less than half of the U.S.. According to Korea Productivity Center (KPC)’s `International Comparative Labor Productivity` report on the 17th, Korea’s value-added labor productivity per person in 2000, applying the purchasing power index, is 30,935 dollars. Korea ranked 25th out of the 25 member nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The nation with the highest value-added labor productivity per person among the OECD nations was the United States (66,341 dollars). Korea achieved only 46.6 percent of the total productivity in the U.S..

The result is the standard labor productivity that discarded price-difference between Korea and the U.S.. The U.S. prices are 1.5 times higher than Korea, and if the prices are directly reflected, the labor productivity gap between Korea and the U.S. will grow larger.

The nations with high labor productivity following the U.S. were Belgium (63,904 dollars), Ireland (62,628 dollars), and Japan (48,744 dollars), which came in 16th. 5 nations below Korea’s labor productivity included Czech, Slovakia, Poland, Mexico, and Turkey.

KPC’s special member Lee Kun-Hee said, "It is not because Korea has bad labor quality, but because it lacks in hi-tech equipments and advanced service industries. High value-added service industries like computer, software, and information management should be developed, and better techniques and equipments in the production industry are needed to raise the value-added labor productivity."

Value-added index, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), is yielded after dividing the GDP by the number of the employed. Unlike the general labor productivity that standardizes on total production, it is based on added value.

Seung-Ryun Kim ysshin@donga.com · Yeon-Su Sin srkim@donga.com