3.2. Productivity

Productivity has increased in recent years in the Basque Country and is well above the European average

The results achieved in terms of productivity constitute another intermediate performance indicator, as improving this area is a requirement in order to be competitive. Table 1 and Graph 3 show the values and trends in apparent productivity per employee, in purchasing power parity terms up to the year 2016, the last year available from Eurostat for the regions. In the last year, we see a slight drop in productivity in the Basque Country, something which, as the trend graph shows, also occurred in the rest of the territories. As a result, the Basque Country remains high in the rankings. If we compare productivity values in constant terms to counteract the effects of inflation, and use the Eustat (Basque Statistics Office) data to also include the figures available for 2017, we can see that productivity in the Basque Country increased between the years 2015 and 2016, as well as in 2017 (see Graph 4). It remains far above the European average and even more than the Spanish average, although it was slightly surpassed by Germany’s average values in the last two years. One positive aspect is that even though some years ago, increases in productivity were primarily due to production remaining steady with job cuts, in recent years, it has been accompanied by net increases in employment. This will be discussed in greater depth in section 4.1.3, when we analyse trends in labour costs and their relationship to productivity.

Graph 4. Apparent productivity per employee (thousand 2015 constant €), 2008–2017.
Graph 4. Apparent productivity per employee (thousand 2015 constant €), 2008–2017.
Source: Eurostat and Eustat (Basque Statistics Office). Compiled by authors.