||<p>The Smith Institute survey of trade union members asked whether respondents thought
they were working “harder” and whether they were more productive than two years ago.
Given the ambiguity over the term “working harder” and the unrepresentative sample
used, caution should be drawn on the relationship between hours worked and productivity.</p><p>However,
ONS data indicate that between 2010 and 2015 the total number of hours worked per
week in the UK economy has increased by 8.4%<sup>1</sup>. The vast majority of the
increase, around 80%, came from higher employment. While the remainder did come from
increased average hours this in part reflects a reduction in the share of part-time
work.</p><p>It has been this significant increase in the number of people employed
that has driven growth in the UK economy in recent years. The challenge now is to
ensure the UK continues to grow through rising productivity. The government’s ‘Fixing
the Foundations’ productivity plan, sets out an ambitious vision and the pro-productivity
agenda designed to meet this challenge. Productivity, measured as output per hour
worked, increased by 1.0% in 2015 as a whole – the largest annual increase since 2011.</p><p>References</p><p>1.
ONS UK Labour Market (March 2016): Actual weekly hours worked (seasonally adjusted)</p><p><a