Why is Labour Productivity in the UK so low?
There are a huge variety of reasons why, in comparison to other countries, our labour productivity is so low:
One incredible important reason is that the government drive for full employment has been taking hold. As we can see here; our employment is faring well in comparison with other countries.
However, a real problem is the government implementing policy that favours short term social benefit (like for example, mass employment, creation of needless projects simply to provide jobs), rather than long term economic benefit. There is a failure to realise that long term better economic welfare also means general higher standards of living, as people have enough money to buy everything they need and some of what they want, competition is rife so drives quality up and prices down, and the government are able to take in more taxes from firms who are much healthier financially. This mass employment may lead to more jobs, but the workers themselves or the way they’re used is hugely inefficient.
Another reason that labour production in the UK is so low is the lack of competition. There is a strong body of evidence that competition enhances productivity. So, with a lack of one there is a lack of the other. Monopolies don't need to compete with anyone so they charge whatever the market will bear. A moderate amount of competition means that sellers have to be sure their prices don't tempt buyers to cross the street and buy from someone else. There is also motivation to produce goods at as low a cost as possible so that they can capture the market. If there are too many sellers in the market, the less efficient ones go out of business or figure out how to be more efficient, or try a different business niche.
Thirdly, there is a huge lack of spending in terms of research and development. This lack of innovation and therefore the attractiveness of products to consumers is a drain on the economy, as there is less choice...