OSR Productivity Assessment

The Economy Domain is currently carrying out an assessment of the Office for National Statistics’ Labour and Multifactor Productivity statistics against the Code of Practice for Statistics. We will assess the statistics against the three pillars of the code – trustworthiness, quality and value – with a view to reaffirming their National Statistics status.

Since the financial crash in 2008, productivity levels in the UK have stagnated – giving rise to what is often referred to as the ‘productivity puzzle’. Understanding the root cause of this puzzle relies on having high quality, insightful data on productivity outcomes in the UK.  Our assessment will look to examine the extent to which the productivity statistics currently released by the ONS fulfil this data need, as well as what areas improvements could be sought, by engaging extensively with both users and producers of these statistics.

The assessment will cover the following statistical bulletins;

UK Quarterly Labour and Multifactor Productivity

UK Quarterly Flash Estimates of Labour Productivity

We will also be looking at international comparisons of UK productivity, which were discontinued in 2018 due to methodological difficulties.

The Code of Practice places a strong emphasis on statistics meeting the needs of their users. Capturing the views of users, and potential users, forms an important part of our judgement of the statistics, and helps us to ascertain how they could be improved going forward.

We would very much welcome your feedback on these statistics and would be grateful if any thoughts could be aligned to the following questions.

  • Which of the productivity releases do you use and for what purpose?
  • How well do the statistics meet your needs? For example, are the releases sufficiently timely and frequent? Is the data detailed enough for your uses?
  • How clear is the advice from ONS about the strengths and limitations of the statistics?
  • If you use the ONS productivity flash estimates, how do you view the quality of these statistics compared to the quarterly releases?
  • How clearly do you find the statistics to be presented and analysed? Are there ways in which this could be improved?
  • Your experience of any contact you have had with ONS

We welcome comments on any other aspect of these statistics which you think might be relevant to our assessment.

To contribute to our assessment, please get in touch with one of our assessment team: Iain Russell, Ben Bohane and Isabel Ralphs. We look forward to receiving your comments by 14 December.