Better productivity called for

WHILE WA remains one of the bright lights economically, relative to the other Australian States and Territories, comparing Australia’s performance globally puts WA’s performance into perspective.

At the turn of the century Australia boasted the highest per capita income in the world.

Today, Australia ranks ninth on the GDP per capita scale when adjusted to account for differences in purchasing power.

According to figures from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Australian living standards in 1999 were only 75 per cent of those in the US.

Luxembourg tops the list of OECD countries with average adjusted per capita income of $US41,356, followed by the US with $US33,836.

Australia falls behind the Netherlands, Iceland, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland.

However, Australian living standards based on income sit above Japan, the UK and New Zealand, which has a per capita income of $US18,629.

Australia has maintained its per capita income only through working longer hours than many of the countries that top the OECD list.

Australians work about 1,800 hours per employee compared with the European average of 1,620 hours and rank 17th in terms of worker productivity.

An increase of just 10 per cent in Australia’s hourly productivity would lift Australian per capita income to the fourth highest in the world.

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