Why is it that British workers are so much less productive than their foreign counterparts? Output per hour—productivity—has been weak since the economic crisis of 2008. It has recovered in countries elsewhere, but not Britain.

This is so worrying because, as the Office for National Statistics pointed out this morning, “productivity is a key determinant of living standards,” meaning that if productivity is weak, then wages will not rise, and if wages will not rise, then living standards will be slowly eroded by inflation.

The extent of productivity weakness in Britain is startling. Today’s ONS release compares British productivity as…

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