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Economic Research

Understanding productivity variations between Wales and England

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  • Release date: 2 August 2016
The research attempts to explain why labour productivity in Wales is relatively low.

Productivity is widely used as a measure of economic prosperity and is argued to be a key determinant of living standards. It measures value added for goods and services produced, expressed in a standardised format. Understanding the reasons for low productivity in Wales is important in terms of designing effective policy interventions.

This report presents regression estimates of the effect of accessibility on productivity using statistical analysis of the Annual Business Survey (ABS) business-level database. Data from this source relates to 2012, which is the latest year for which information is available including the capital stock estimates. The ABS data set contains information on all firms with greater than 250 employees and a structured sample of firms with fewer than 250 workers.

The report identifies productivity gaps at the regional level across England and Wales and provides an analysis of the factors that explain these gaps.


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