Americans Top List Of Most Productive WorkersBy John McCormick | Posted 2007-09-05 Email Print
Re-Thinking HR: What Every CIO Needs to Know About Tomorrow's Workforce REGISTER >
Combination of technology, capital, labor lead to gains.
Americans are the most productive workers in the world, and technology is one of the reasons why, according to a just-released report by the United Nation's International Labor Organization.
American workers add $63,885 each year to their economies, while the Irish, who came in second, add $55,986.
Beside the U.S. and Ireland, the other top-five most productive countries include Luxembourg, where workers add $55,641; Belgium, where citizens add $55,235; and France, where employees add $54,609 to the economy. The International Labor Organization calculates productivity by dividing a country's output by the number of its citizens employed.
Increases in productivity were the result of companies combining capital, labor and technology, said the report, which is titled "Key Indicators of the Labour Market." On the other hand, the UN agency said, a lack of investment in equipment, people and technology can lead to an underutilized labor pool.
The report noted that U.S. workers also put in more hours each year than employees in other developed countries and that productivity in East Asian countries is rising quickly — with workers in that region producing twice as much as they did 10 years ago.
From 1980 to 2005, American productivity increased 1.7%, while China's productivity increased 5.7%, Korea's productivity rose 4.7%, and Taiwan's 4.1%.
While experts have debated the impact information technology has on productivity, many chief information officers seem confident that adopting emerging technologies allows their companies to get more done.
More than half-55%—of the information chiefs polled by CIO Insight for its Emerging Technologies survey, which was published last month, said increasing productivity was a major reason they deployed new computer and communications devices. Seventy percent of those respondents said emerging technologies had met or exceed their expectations.