Labour productivity per hour worked (ESA 2010) (tsdec310)

Indicator Profile (ESMS)

Data tables: tsdec310

Compiling agency: Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4. Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Accessibility and clarity
11. Quality management
12. Relevance
13. Accuracy
14. Timeliness and punctuality
15. Coherence and comparability
16. Cost and Burden
17. Data revision
18. Statistical processing
19. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)
Eurostat Quality Profile
13.1. Accuracy - overall Medium
15.1. Comparability - geographical High
15.2. Comparability - over time Medium
18.1. Source data ESS

Description of Eurostat quality grading system under the following link.

For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT


1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

1.2. Contact organisation unit

C3: Statistics for administrative purposes

1.5. Contact mail address

2920 Luxembourg LUXEMBOURG

2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 21/02/2016
2.2. Metadata last posted 21/02/2016
2.3. Metadata last update 21/02/2016

3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

Labour productivity per hour worked is calculated as the ratio between GDP expressed in purchasing power standards (PPS) and the aggregate number of hours actually worked as an employee or self-employed during the accounting period, to produce output within the production boundary.

3.2. Classification system

See nama_esms

3.3. Coverage - sector

See nama_esms

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

See nama_esms

3.5. Statistical unit

See nama_esms

3.6. Statistical population

See nama_esms

3.7. Reference area

EU, EFTA, Candidate countries and Acceding countries

3.8. Coverage - Time

See data availability for table(s) tsdec310

3.9. Base period

Not applicable

4. Unit of measure Top

Euro per hour worked


Percentage change on previous period

5. Reference Period Top

Calendar year

6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

Council Regulation (EC) No 2223/96 on the European system of national and regional accounts in the Community (ESA 95)

Commission Decision No 98 / 715 (2008) 

Commission Decision No 2002 / 990 / EC on measurement of price and volumes in national accounts (2002)


Regulation (EC) No 1392 / 2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council (2007) amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2223 / 96 with respect to the transmission of national data

Regulation (EC) No 1445 / 2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing common rules for the provision of basic information on Purchasing Power Parities and for their calculation and dissemination (2007)

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing


7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

Not applicable

8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

Not applicable

8.2. Release calendar access

Not applicable

8.3. Release policy - user access

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice Eurostat disseminates European statistics on Eurostat's website (see item 10 - 'Dissemination format') respecting professional independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.

9. Frequency of dissemination Top


10. Accessibility and clarity Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

Not applicable

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications


10.3. Dissemination format - online database

See data availability for table(s) tsdec310

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Not applicable

10.5. Dissemination format - other

Not applicable

10.6. Documentation on methodology

See nama_esms

10.7. Quality management - documentation

Eurostat's mission is to provide the European Union with a high-quality statistical information service (see Eurostat quality framework)

11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

See nama_esms

11.2. Quality management - assessment

Data are collected from reliable sources applying high methodological standards. Restrictions in comparability over time are related to the construction of the indicator as such rather than to shortcomings of data production. Methods are well documented and explained. Inter-temporal comparability is restricted especially by the use of Purchasing Power Parities (PPP). While PPPs ensure geographical comparability, this may be restricted by the fact that the indicator’s labour component (total hours worked) is not yet fully harmonised across countries.

12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

Objective and relevance of the indicator:

At the Lisbon European Council (March 2000), the European Union (EU) set out its strategy to “become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion.” The European Council (March 2005) noted that Europe must renew the basis of its competitiveness, increase its growth potential and its productivity, and strengthen social cohesion, placing the main emphasis on knowledge, innovation and the optimisation of human capital. Increasing labour productivity is further seen by the Europe 2020 strategy as a crucial path to ensuring Europe’s competitiveness.

Labour productivity per hour worked is one indicator of the EU economy’s competitiveness and ability to ensure prosperity for its citizens over time. Among the factors contributing to labour productivity growth are: technological innovation, improvements in workers’ skills and the organisation of work. If GDP grows and the number of hours worked remains stable, the indicator will also rise, indicating the annual increase in the output produced by one hour of work. GDP at constant prices is expressed in PPS, in relation to the European Union average, which ensures the comparability of labour productivity between Member States.

Restriction of the indicator’s relevance and other characteristics which may lead to restrictions in using it in monitoring and reporting:

The indicator is constructed primarily for spatial comparisons and less for comparisons over time.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

See nama_esms

12.3. Completeness

See data availability for table(s) tsdec310

13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall


GDP is a measure of economic activity. Data are compiled in accordance with the European System of Accounts - ESA 1995 (Council Regulation 2223/96). The Regulation consists of a comprehensive list of the variables that are to be transmitted for Community purposes within specified time limits. This transmission programme has been updated by Regulation (EC) N° 1392/2007.


Countries compile GDP statistics according to standard international rules (ESA 95/ SNA 08). At a European level, the accuracy of GDP figures is regularly monitored within the framework of the Gross National Income (GNI) Committee. Technical aspects are regularly analysed by several working groups and technical committees.


Purchasing power parities (PPPs) are indicators of price level differences across countries. PPPs indicate how many currency units a given quantity of goods or services costs in different countries. PPPs can thus be used as currency conversion rates to convert expenditures expressed in national currencies into an artificial common currency (the Purchasing Power Standard - PPS). This neutralises the effect of relative price differences across countries for comparative purposes.


PPPs are calculated by Eurostat in strict collaboration with the OECD, within the framework of the European Comparison Programme (ECP), whose aim is to make annual volume comparisons of the main national accounts aggregates.


The total number of persons employed covers all persons - both employees and self-employed persons - engaged in a productive activity falling within the economy’s production boundary. The number of persons employed is calculated in accordance with the National Accounts concepts (ESA 95). Accuracy is regularly monitored by the Eurostat working group on National Accounts. National Statistical Offices may however apply concepts different from ESA95, and the hours-worked statistics may therefore differ. 


Information on hours worked is included in the National Accounts submitted by Member States. Estimates based on the average hours worked by person are otherwise obtained from the OECD.

13.2. Sampling error

See nama_esms

13.3. Non-sampling error

See nama_esms

14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

Not applicable

14.2. Punctuality

Not applicable

15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical


The comparability of GDP statistics across countries is ensured by applying the legal framework represented by the European System of Accounts (ESA 95) and the System of National Accounts (SNA 08).


Comparability of GDP between countries is regularly monitored in the context of the work of the Gross National Income (GNI) Committee. In addition, the international harmonisation of techniques and, to some extent, the provision of compilation tools are ensured by the work of the National Accounts working groups (Eurostat, OECD and UN).


Guidelines concerning the preparation and production of PPSs are prepared and updated by Eurostat in co-operation with participant countries. Significant efforts have been made in developing data transmission and management. Eurostat conducts regular Rolling reviews of PPP statistics in order to evaluate their quality. While PPP conversion enables comparability across countries, minor comparability problems may arise from differences in the representativeness of products priced.


The comparability of employment data is ensured by the application of the same ESA 95 concepts and definitions across countries. The definitions of employment data applied are consistent with ILO definitions, which ensures international comparability.


For the EU and its Member States, Eurostat uses National Accounts labour data for hours worked. The comparability of the total number of hours worked is based on the application of the same ESA 95 concepts and definitions by all countries. The methods used by most countries to estimate value added in government services assume that labour productivity growth is zero. This means that countries with large government sectors or with government sectors which were growing during the period considered may, by assumption, display less growth in GDP per hour worked than other countries (OECD).


Eurostat does not receive explicit hours worked data from some Member States. It therefore estimates these by multiplying the number of persons employed by the average number of hours worked per year. In most cases, the figure for average hours worked per person is drawn from the figures published by the OECD. Hours actually worked data do not always reach the same standard of reliability as other national accounts data.

15.2. Comparability - over time


ESA 95 requires coherent long time-series for GDP, which are produced by most of the EU Member States. In some countries, methodological breaks may affect time-series. Backward calculations of time-series are provided to ensure full time-coherence, in the case of methodological changes.


The comparability of employment and total hours worked figures over time are ensured by applying the same concept (ESA 95). For the latter - methodological breaks may affect time-series in some countries.


The indicator is however not suited for comparability over time as PPPs are constructed primarily for spatial comparison and not for comparison over time. PPP samples are planned to maximise the comparability of items across countries at a given point in time, not over time. PPPs change with time, and thus comparison over time is not reliable.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

The indicator is included in the Socioeconomic development theme of the EU sustainable development indicator set.

15.4. Coherence - internal

Not applicable

16. Cost and Burden Top

Not applicable

17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

See nama_esms

17.2. Data revision - practice

See nama_esms

18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data


18.2. Frequency of data collection

See nama_esms

18.3. Data collection

See nama_esms

18.4. Data validation

See nama_esms

18.5. Data compilation

See nama_esms

18.6. Adjustment

See nama_esms

19. Comment Top

Continuous improvements relate to applying existing methodology and compilation techniques, to harmonising and fully implementing international National Accounts rules in all countries, and to Member States’ participation in discussions concerned with quality such as the ‘Rolling Review of the Purchasing Power Parities’.

A possible compromise allowing for the indicator’s comparison over time would be for it to be based on a set of PPPs for a reference year and constant price series. This possibility is being evaluated by Eurostat in cooperation with international organisations. It should however be noted that the more one moves away from that reference year, the less precise the indicator becomes due to changes in relative price structures between countries.

Related metadata Top

Annexes Top