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Boosting Economic Growth: The Impact of Increased Productivity in the UK Services Sector.

Wooden blocks showing symbols pf productivity, such as graphs with growth curves

Productivity is the key driver of economic growth.

In today’s global economy, productivity is a key driver of economic growth and raising living standards.

The services sector plays a pivotal role in shaping a nation’s overall productivity. The United Kingdom, known for its diverse and dynamic services industry, stands to gain significantly from efforts to increase productivity within this sector.  

Economic commentators believe that the slowdown in productivity growth, since the global financial crisis in 2008, has been primarily driven by:

  • Financial services
  • Insurance services
  • Information and communications sector and
  • Manufacturing

The Services Sector

The services sector is a dominant force in the UK economy, encompassing a wide range of activities such as finance, healthcare, education, hospitality, and professional services. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), services accounted for approximately 80% of the UK’s GDP in recent years, highlighting its critical importance to the overall economic landscape.

Unlike the manufacturing sector, where productivity gains can be more tangible and directly tied to output per hour, measuring productivity in services is often complex.  

Several factors can influence productivity within the services sector:

  • Technological Integration: Embracing cutting-edge technologies, such as artificial intelligence, automation, and data analytics, can streamline processes and enhance efficiency in service delivery.
  • Skilled Workforce: Investing in the skills and training of the workforce can lead to higher productivity, as well-trained employees are better equipped to handle tasks efficiently.
  • Innovation: Encouraging innovation within the services sector can lead to the development of new and improved services, attracting more customers and boosting overall productivity.
  • Streamlining Processes: Simplifying complicated rules and procedures and reducing red tape can contribute to increased time scales and higher efficiency in service delivery.
  • Increased Output: One of the most direct impacts of heightened productivity in the services sector is an increase in output. As services become more efficiently delivered, businesses can expand their offerings, catering to a larger customer base both domestically and internationally.
  • Competitive Advantage: Improved productivity allows businesses to gain a competitive edge in the global marketplace. A more efficient services sector can attract foreign investment and stimulate exports, contributing positively to the UK’s international trade.
  • Job Creation: Although there is a common concern that increased productivity may lead to job losses, in the services sector, it can also result in job creation. As businesses grow, they often require additional skilled workers, thereby contributing to increased employment levels.
  • Multiplier Effect: The services sector’s role in providing inputs to other industries means that increased productivity can have a multiplier effect on the economy. For example, a more efficient financial services sector can positively impact businesses across various sectors by facilitating easier access to funding and finance.

Challenges to growth.

It’s important to note that the journey toward increased productivity in the services sector is not without challenges. Resistance to technological adoption, potential job displacement, and regulatory hurdles may slow down progress.

Therefore, a comprehensive approach that involves collaboration between the Government, businesses, and educational institutions is crucial to address these challenges effectively.

As a Business Support Services company, we need to ensure we not only understand the macro-economic factors of the current market, but also the individual factors within the region the business operates within, and their own specific attributes and issues. A full business understanding is definitely needed.

Martin Coats, Operations & Commercial Director at Exemplas, explains:

“Supporting businesses to increase productivity isn’t just an investment in their success; it’s a commitment to fostering economic resilience and prosperity. By empowering UK businesses to thrive, we create a ripple effect that extends beyond individual enterprises – it strengthens communities, drives job creation, and contributes to the overall strength of our economy. Recognising the significance of this support is acknowledging the pivotal role businesses play in shaping a thriving and resilient country.”

Martin Coats, Operations & Commercial Director at Exemplas.

Boosting productivity within the UK services sector holds extensive potential for driving economic growth and increasing the nation’s GDP and living standards. By embracing innovation, investing in technology, and nurturing a skilled workforce, the UK can solidify itself as a leader in the services industry. As the services sector thrives, so too will the broader economy, benefiting businesses, employees, and the country as a whole.

Learn more about how we collaborate with Government to drive the productivity agenda.