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Labor Productivity Ranked 4th Lowest in OECD

Posted August. 11, 2008 06:49,   


Domestic labor productivity per hour was the fourth worst in 2006 among member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Hourly output by Korean workers was 20.40 U.S. dollars, according to the organization’s 2006 labor productivity statistics released yesterday.

Only three members ranked lower than Korea: Turkey (14.60 dollars), Mexico (16 dollars) and Poland (19.30 dollars). The Czech Republic (22.30 dollars) and Hungary (23.50 dollars) ranked ahead of Korea.

The OECD average was 38 dollars and that of the G7 45.10 dollars, more than twice as high as Korea’s. Korean productivity was 41 percent of that of the United States.

Labor productivity is calculated by dividing gross domestic product by the number of working hours (number of workers multiplied by their average working hours).

Experts say long working hours is one factor behind Korea’s low productivity, as well as lagging technological edge and production efficiency.

In 2006, the average Korean employee worked 2,360 hours, 676 more than the G7 average of 1,684 hours. Last year, Korea’s figure fell to 2,261 hours, but the country was the only OECD member whose workers spent more than 2,000 hours at work yearly.

Luxembourg had the most productive workers in the OECD with average output of 72.20 dollars an hour.