Labour productivity

  • Labour productivity has increased almost continuously in recent years

    In 2019, labour productivity in the Flemish Region was estimated at 87,400 euro purchasing power standard (PPS). Labour productivity is the ratio of gross domestic product (GDP) to employment in a country or region. 

    Labour productivity has risen almost continuously in recent years. The only exceptions were 2008 and 2009, the worst years of the financial and economic crisis. There was also a slight decline in 2016. 

  • Commuting has little influence on labour productivity

    Commuting, i.e. workers living in one region and working in another, has little impact on labour productivity. If Flemish commuters were included in the calculation, labour productivity in the Flemish Region would be 1% higher. For the Walloon Region, the increase would be 3%. On the other hand, there would be a 1% drop in labour productivity in the Brussels-Capital Region. 

  • Flanders among the best in Europe

    Within Belgium, the Brussels-Capital Region has the highest value, which is due to the activities which are typical of a capital region and which generate significant gross value added. In Belgium, the Walloon Region has the lowest labour productivity, which is still above the average of the European Union (EU). 

    Flanders' labour productivity is high compared to other European countries. Of the other EU countries, only Ireland and Luxembourg perform better than the Flemish Region in 2019. Flanders' high level of labour productivity is an asset, since the same quantity of goods and services can be produced with fewer workers. Belgium's three direct neighbours and our closest competitors all have lower labour productivity. There are considerable differences among the Member States. In Ireland, for example, labour productivity is four times higher than in Bulgaria, which is at the bottom of the league. 


Statistics Flanders: Regional economic outlook 
Institute of National Accounts (INR): Regional accounts 
European Commission macroeconomic database Ameco 


Labour productivity: a measure of the efficiency of the labour used. It represents the ratio of gross domestic product (GDP) to employment in a given country or region.   
Gross domestic product (GDP): the market value of the final goods and services sold in a country or region in 1 year.  
Purchasing power standard: monetary amounts are expressed in euro purchasing power standard (PPS) to facilitate proper international comparisons for the prices for the same goods and services vary significantly between countries.

Publication date

23 July 2019

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