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Growth in South Korea's labor productivity accelerated in the fourth quarter of
2011 from three months earlier, helped by solid export gains, a government
report showed Wednesday.
According to the report by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, the labor productivity index for all industries in the three month period increased 3.3 percent on-year to 112.6, up from 109.0 tallied a year earlier.
The on-year growth rate of labor productivity sank to 1.1 percent in the third quarter of last year after reaching 3 percent in the second quarter and 4 percent in the first quarter, mainly due to sluggish economic growth brought on by eurozone woes and high commodities prices. South Korea's economy grew 3.8 percent in 2011 down from 6.2 percent in the previous year.
Labor productivity is measured by dividing total industrial output with total labor input during a given period of time.
The latest report showed labor output rising 3.4 percent with input, which translates to both the number of workers and overall labor time edging up just 0.1 percent.
"Exports jumping 19.3 percent compared to the year before to reach a record high of US$556.5 billion contributed to the improvements in the index numbers," a ministry official said.
For the manufacturing sector, labor productivity rose 7.8 percent on-year to 124.3 in the fourth quarter, while service industries posted a gain of 2.2 percent to 108.6.
The report, in addition showed labor productivity for all industries moving up 2.8 percent on-year to 111.6 for the whole of last year, with manufacturing and services numbers also gaining 6.5 percent and 2.2 percent respectively. The productivity reading of 111.6 is the highest reached so far.
Productivity for manufacturers reached 123.0 from 115.5 in 2010, with the service sector number hitting 108.5 vis-a-vis 106.2 tallied for the previous year.