Queensland productivity buried by other states

AUGUST 2010

LABOUR productivity in the Australian construction industry increased in 2009 and into 2010 in every state except Queensland, according to research by international property and construction consultants Davis Langdon.

Davis Langdon’s senior economist and national research and development manager Andrew Wilson, says the research took an in-depth look at the number of jobs and the correlation between project end values nationally.

“All states, with the exception of Queensland, reported construction industry labour productivity improvement over this period,” says Wilson.

“What we have found is that the Australian construction workforce utilised an average of 6.3 jobs for each million dollars of work done for the year ending March 2010, compared to 6.8 jobs per million dollars for the same period in 2009.”

The findings show that New South Wales remained the least efficient state for labour productivity requiring 8.3 jobs for every $1 million of work completed.

Western Australia had the most efficient construction workforce requiring only 3.5 jobs to complete $1 million in construction work.

“Reflecting the less labour intensive nature of engineering construction, Victoria had the most efficient building industry workforce with 10.6 jobs required for each $1 million in building work done compared to the least efficient state of New South Wales that required 16.7 jobs per million dollars in activity,” says Wilson.

“Western Australia with the highest proportion of engineering construction (70 per cent) to total construction was still just behind Victoria in terms of labour productivity efficiency requiring 11.6 jobs for every $1 million in building work.”

Wilson predicts continued productivity growth to be constrained, however by accelerating construction activity levels in most Australian markets through 2010 and into 2011 pressure will be heaped on industry efficiency.

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