The productivity of New Zealand workers rose by 2.1 percent in the year to the end of March 2013, higher than the average annual rate of 1.6 percent over the previous 17 years, the government statistics agency announced Tuesday.
"The 2.1-percent increase in labor productivity was driven by both an increase of 1.2 percent in multi-factor productivity and a 0.9-percent growth in the amount of capital available per worker," Statistics New Zealand national accounts manager Michele Lloyd said in a statement.
Growth in multi-factor productivity -- the measure of how efficiently goods and services are produced in the economy -- was due to outputs (goods and services) growing faster than the inputs (hours of labor, and capital such as land and buildings) used to produce them.
Growth in this area showed more efficient production and was often associated with technological or organizational change, or economies of scale.
Labor productivity measured the quantity of output produced for each hour of labor, so the figures showed that 100 products could have been produced in one hour of labor in 1996 compared with 132 in one hour of labor in 2013.
From 1996 to 2013, labor productivity grew more in neighboring Australia at an average of 2.1 percent per year, and Australia's annual average output growth was also higher at 3.5 percent compared with 2.6 percent in New Zealand.