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Press Statement


28 July 2020

Press Statement Productivity in Ireland 2018

Ireland’s Labour Productivity Growth for 2000-2018 at 3.4% is above the EU average of 1.3%
  • By comparison for 2000 – 2018, Labour Productivity in the mainly Domestic Sector increased by an annual average rate of 1.5% while the Foreign Sector increased by 9.3%
  • Ireland recorded no growth in Multi-Factor Productivity, over the eighteen- year period on average, the Domestic and Other sector recorded an increase of 0.1% and the result for the Foreign Sector was -1.4%
  • Labour share for Ireland of 31% is the lowest in the EU explained by high profitability and large additions to capital assets over the period 2015 - 2018
  • Increases in capital assets per worker (in Ireland) are amongst the highest in the EU

Go to release: Productivity in Ireland 2018

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (28 July 2020) published Productivity in Ireland 2018.  This publication presents a comprehensive picture of productivity and economic growth in the Irish economy for the Domestic and Other Sector, and the Multinational dominated Foreign-Sector, since 2000.  A separate analysis is also presented for 21 individual economic sectors in the economy.

Productivity measures the efficiency with which an economy transforms inputs into outputs.  Throughout this publication the CSO has emphasised the need to separately assess productivity in the Multinational Enterprise (MNE) dominated Foreign Sector from productivity in the Domestic Sector.  To enable this analysis all indicators are presented for the total economy with separate results for the Foreign Sector and the Domestic Sector.  This reduces the risk of analysts and policy makers attributing the results of the highly productive Foreign Sector to the economy as a whole.

Commenting on the figures, Michael Connolly, Senior Statistician, said:

‘Analysing productivity developments in the Irish economy is challenging and in this publication CSO have continued with our incremental approach towards producing indicators that are both meaningful and insightful.  The objective is to assist users in understanding the impact that the highly globalised nature of the Irish economy has on productivity measures for Ireland. In this publication the core productivity accounts based on Labour Productivity, Capital Services and Multi-Factor Productivity (MFP) have been extended to analyse and explain the labour share for Ireland and the impact of intangible assets on MFP. We find that Ireland has the lowest labour share amongst the member states of the EU which is mostly explained by large increases in profitability and the onshoring of intangible capital since 2015.

Further research has resulted in a comprehensive analysis of productivity in the more developed frameworks:

  • Capital, Labour, Energy Materials and Services (KLEMS) where productivity is measured against all factors of production and the growth in output rather than value added.
  • Quality of Labour Input (QALI) estimates introduced in last year’s publication have been significantly developed to give more insight into the impact of education, experience and gender on the composition of the work force across the sectors of the economy.

Considerable scope remains to develop and extend the productivity analysis presented today.  The next stage in our work will be to focus explicitly on micro or firm based analysis and we look forward to continuing the dialogue with our stakeholders once these results have been fully considered’.

For further information contact:

Michael Connolly (+353) 1 498 4006 or Yvonne Hayden (+353) 1 498 4125

or email

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