Labour Research May 2004


Key indicators of the labour market

International Labour Office, 858 pages, hardback, £100.00

This large volume is published every two years by the International Labour Office and provides a comprehensive insight into global labour markets.

It notes that, in 2002, US productivity surpassed that of Europe and Japan in terms of annual output per worker for the first time since the second world war and widened the productivity gap with the rest of the world.

This was partly because Americans worked longer hours than their European counterparts. US workers put in an average of 1,815 hours a year, while some European workers worked 1,300 hours.

US productivity has also improved because of the production and diffusion of information and communication technology (ICT) and the growth of service industries that depend on ICT.