Post-recession productivity

In common with other industries, productivity in the UK food and drink sector has not followed the pre-recession trend (the average growth seen between 2000 and 2007 projected forward).

Had productivity increased in line with this trend, it would be 20% higher than it is today, allowing for higher profitability and higher wages.

A lack of investment in automation during the recession resulted in employees being retained with some even moving into less productive roles. These actions taken by businesses impacted on productivity growth post- 2007. This slump in automation investment and 'labour hoarding' contributed to the productivity slowdown, as falling output was not matched by reductions in hours worked.


Source: Output per hour, UK Mfg food, drink & tobacco, 2012=100, seas adj, ONS Labour Productivity DJK9.