How to calculate labor productivity

Labor productivity measures the efficiency of the people in a country or organization. To calculate it, divide the total value of the goods and services produced by the total number of hours worked. If productivity is being calculated for an organization, the total value of goods and services is considered to be their monetary value - that is, the amount at which they can be sold. This amount does not necessarily equate to the cost of goods sold, since a portion of the amount produced could be stored in ending inventory, rather than being sold. Thus, the calculation for an organization is:

Monetary value of goods and services produced ÷ Total number of hours worked = Labor productivity

This measurement can be tracked on a trend line to see if there are any changes in labor productivity over time. The number can be influenced in a positive manner by requiring employees to engage in training, by installing new production and service techniques, introducing automation, and similar measures. As a workforce gains in experience, its labor productivity will generally increase. Conversely, as more experienced people are replaced by new ones, the productivity level tends to fall. Thus, employee turnover can have a pronounced negative effect on labor productivity.

At the national level, labor productivity is calculated as gross domestic product divided by the aggregate number of labor hours worked in the country. As this number increases, it is presumed to reflect an increase in the standard of living within the country. The measure is commonly compared among different countries, in order to rank them by productivity level.

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