The German Federal Bureau of Statistics investigated, that today Germans perform better while working less than 20 years ago. The labour productivity of gainfully employed persons increased by almost one out of four (22.7%) between 1991 and 2011. At the same time the amount of working hours per head declined by 9.0%.
The rise of productivity is even higher if you relate it not to the total amount of gainfully employed persons, but to their performed working hours, the statistics say. Thus the productivity has been increased by 34.8% since 1991.
The labour productivity is calculated by setting the GDP in relation with the total amount of gainfully employed persons or their working hours. The GDP equals the total amount of all produced goods and services of a national economy within one year.
The employers’ labour costs increased more than the inflation during the last 20 years, the Federal Bureau of Statistics said. They include the company’s expenses on net wages and salaries, taxes and spending on social securities. According to that, the labour costs climbed by 47.5% and the inflation by 45.8%. The rise of labour costs per working hour was 63.4% in that period.
When you set labour costs into relation with productivity, you can even see a lower boost. The unit labour cost rised by 20.2% per employee, meanwhile it increased by 21.2% per working hour.
The improvements in productivity can be explained by high efforts in technical innovations and better conditions of apprentices.
By comparing the German productivity with the world, you can record that some emerging economies like Brazil or China perform better, but among industrialised countries Germany is one of the best.
The following chart shows the development of the German labour productivity per working hour since 1991.