National productivity still way too low, warns Worrell

Economist and former Central Bank Governor Dr DeLisle Worrell has warned that the level of productivity in Barbados is way too low, especially within the public sector where he says the level of service provided by Government employees has been on the decline for years.

And even though output from private sector workers has increased somewhat, Worrell further cautioned in his September newsletter that the record of Barbados’ labour force was really not very encouraging.

“Over the past decade, output per worker in Barbados appears to have increased very slowly by about $600 per year, no more,” he said, adding that “the value of services provided by the average Government worker has been declining by about $900 per year over that same period”.

The ex-Governor is therefore stressing the need to improve national labour productivity.

“This issue must take centre stage in discussions of the Social Partnership; measures to improve worker productivity are a sustainable way to ensure improved living standards for the Barbadian workforce. The gains made will be permanent, and will contribute to improved competitiveness, growing investment inflows, and faster growth of our economy,” he said.

With the island currently in need of more foreign currency, Worrell said public sector workers in general needed to produce more.

“Public services do not escape the iron law of productivity,” he said, while arguing that “public sector workers can share in the foreign currency inflow only to the extent that each worker provides more or better services”.

He also suggested that workers in general must be enabled, motivated and equipped to produce more, of better quality, with more variety and with better service since this improved productivity attracted further investment, created even more productive capacity, better transport services, upgraded public services, and greater efficiencies, while “creating a virtuous cycle of growth and prosperity”.

25 Responses to National productivity still way too low, warns Worrell

  1. Ali Baba
    Ali Baba September 15, 2017 at 11:32 pm


  2. Ali Baba
    Ali Baba September 15, 2017 at 11:34 pm


  3. BIGSKY September 16, 2017 at 2:06 am

    All of a sudden, YOU LIKE YOU EAT PARROT MEAT.When people wanted to hear you,you blanked the press and behaved as though you was SUPREME.

  4. Santini More
    Santini More September 16, 2017 at 5:40 am

    In Barbados the PM himself is championing 2017 as the Year of Productivity. It is therefore hardly surprising that our national productivity is so abysmal.

  5. Sheldine Dyall
    Sheldine Dyall September 16, 2017 at 6:53 am

    Nobody don’t want to hear nothing you saying. Lies, lies,lies.

  6. Chris Barnett
    Chris Barnett September 16, 2017 at 7:02 am

    = Ria Ifill

    • Chris Barnett
      Chris Barnett September 16, 2017 at 7:25 am

      = ‘THE E BABY’ – 22:13mins Kids programs …….start them from young in innovation and keep their minds stimulated that is BARBADOS BIGGEST ISSUE kids are getting bored with the limited resources they have in schools and post school life…………

    • Chris Barnett
      Chris Barnett September 16, 2017 at 7:26 am

      = Ria Ifill

  7. Chris Barnett
    Chris Barnett September 16, 2017 at 7:20 am

    = When y’all serious about making a booming economy and moves towards positive growth lets talk !

  8. Maureen Fields
    Maureen Fields September 16, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Ali Baba, you always on point. I luv it!

  9. Michael Crichlow
    Michael Crichlow September 16, 2017 at 10:12 am

    Look at amount of public holidays in Bim, in comparison and the other progressive countries..this does not encompass productivity

  10. Breadfruit. September 16, 2017 at 11:26 am

    1. Tie the government worker pay increases to the increase in GDP.
    Example: increase of 5% gdp all government workers get a 1% increase and a 2% bonus.
    Any GDP increase under 2% no increase in pay but a small bonus.
    Put the increase in pay low to keep down the government salary and wages bill. Make the bonuses larger and pay out in early December
    2. Any government entity that makes a profit would have an additional bonus for its workers.
    Ex: Transport board make a $10M profit then the workers get to share 1M or 2M equally between them (amount shared by the workers would be a fix percentage of the profits). This would make the worker unofficial part owners and they will thrive to get the biggest bonuses possible thus increase their productivity.
    Now tell me which union would not agree to something like this for the benefit of the workers and also the good of the country?
    Who with me on this?

    • Breadfruit. September 16, 2017 at 11:30 am

      Government entities that does not bring in revenue and therefore cannot make a profit(SSA etc) would share, as a bnuses, the funds that they saved if they come in under the budget for the financial year.

      • Arri Mayers September 16, 2017 at 2:46 pm

        Do realise that a government department can come in under budget, if it budgeted for a new fleet of trucks, and did not bother to order those new trucks.
        We were promised a new fleet of tailor-made Sanitation Trucks by December 2015.

        • Breadfruit September 16, 2017 at 8:32 pm

          I was just throwing out the idea
          Mom there would be oversight on the budgets for each giver ment department
          If the minister if finance determine that ssa needs to import 5 new trucks every year but the workers make do with the old trucks then they share that saving
          No import if trucks = saving foreign exchange
          The worker then have more money for themselves

          My suggestion is not perfect but is just that, a suggestion

          People with a bigger head than mine would have to work out the detail and implematation

          You may have to make a start and the makè tweets over time

    • John Everatt September 16, 2017 at 4:32 pm

      Breadfriut – this is a line of thought that should be expanded. I once owned a manufacturing company and I tied the workers’ monthly bonuses to production. When I first introduced this plan the workers thought it was a scam to get them to work more but once they realized that their bonuses could be higher than their wages (which it was many months) they could not have been happier. Production increased, they made money, I made money.

  11. Prince Trémaine
    Prince Trémaine September 16, 2017 at 11:55 am

    Worrell you had your chance, not enjoy your retirement and be quiet. For a good few years you aided and abetted this government in screwing over this country and lied to us. No one wishes to hear you now.

  12. Arri Mayers September 16, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    When folks in St Joseph were suffering badly from a lack of water, this gentleman and his neighbours on Andrews Round Hill, had no such problems. Thanks to the BWA , they were connected to the direct main feeding from Golden Ridge to the ill-fated Andrew Sugar Factory.
    I am all right Jack,

  13. YankeeBajan September 16, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    Breadfruit Amazing idea! It’s the rational to US companies recruit top talent by providing employees stock options so they receive quarterly “shareholder” payments along the CEOs and it works. As a US expat with a Bajan soul I bemoan the detriment gov workers do to the overall growth of the island. I should not have to break out my “American voice” to be helped after sitting at the port 5 HOURS while workers watch YouTube on their cells and order frozen chicken fingers from smuggling coworkers! However, ultimately ALL GOV offices need cct cameras if anything is going to change! BIM is well on its way to being the next T&T and NO ONE WANTS THAT STATUS! Let’s get to work!

  14. Baz Moz
    Baz Moz September 16, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    This government has produced nothing but debt, so national productivity is still well in front of them

  15. Peter Lowe
    Peter Lowe September 16, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    Why He don’t go and rest He old self before He get a heart attack and stop worring
    about crap that He and his friends created?..

  16. Greengiant September 17, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    Forget the messenger, listen carefully to the message. Has anyone gone on public record saying the public sector productivity level is high or acceptable?

    I’ve never heard it said, so what’s wrong with Worrells’ comment? When he was Central Bank Governor he could not say certain things publicly, and we should all understrand that. His contract restricted him very much, but this is an intelligent man who’s work and recommendations are in demand globally. However, as usual Barbadians alone wants to assassinate their leaders. Worrell will only be given the credit he’s earned and deserves when he passes. If we as a people are under performers by global production standards, then we have to accept that and do something about it.

    • The Wiz September 17, 2017 at 6:54 pm

      On the button sir! In our haste to shoot the messenger we often overlook the message. Productivity, in general, and customer service in particular is appalling. Must admit though that they were a few “bright sparks” that I encountered. Sadly that was the exception.


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