Labour productivity statistics: a reality check for the Norwegian construction industry
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Construction is one of the largest sectors that drive the global economy, yet it has failed to receive the necessary attention from the policymakers and investors. The existing construction statistics report the declining state of labour productivity. However, existing statistics often fail to reflect the true scope and economic impact of construction. They mainly account for on-site construction activities, but overlook the manufacturing of construction products and services in construction labour productivity statistics. The aim of this research is to investigate macro-economic labour productivity and identify the methodological problems inhibiting the effective measurement of construction labour productivity. The paper opted for academic literature review and a case study strategy for data collection. The findings reveal that many productive construction activities related to construction products and services are excluded from the construction labour productivity statistics. The results suggest that Norwegian construction labour productivity is not declining and is actually a productive industry in terms of value added per working hour. Although special reference has been made to the Norwegian construction industry, the same approach holds validity at the international arena of construction statistics. The study offers insights and lessons to construction industries of other countries facing similar productivity related issues.