Numbers don’t lie: Productivity on hold

Friday 26 April, 2024

More than half of businesses say their productivity has stagnated or decreased in the past five years and, while alarming, it’s not surprising.  The current business environment is tough, and the consequence is that productivity in Queensland is on hold. 

Our most recent Pulse data clearly shows the impact of more than a decade of compounding business challenges in Queensland has collided to put pressure on business productivity.

The majority of businesses told us they had seen no change or even a decrease in productivity in the last five years.   

We know there is a stretched and stressed business community in Queensland and there has been for years now. 

Businesses told us running costs, workforce challenges and inefficient regulation were major roadblocks and were compounding to put significant pressure on their business. 

It all adds up. Now we’re seeing those pressures come through as impacts on business productivity.  

Pressures like record high operating and labour costs, time and financial costs of red tape, ongoing workforce shortages and changes to the way employers manage their workforces mean many business owners need to work in, as opposed to working on, their business. It means they’re not working on  productivity gains.  

Over the next decade, there will be many opportunities in the lead up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, while the energy transition presents opportunities for business across the state. And more recently, we saw the Prime Minister in Queensland to announce a The Future Made in Australia Act, with a focus to drive domestic manufacturing. 

It all relies on a productive business community in Queensland. Businesses have an important role if the state is to realise the opportunities for growth, and strong productivity will see that happen. 

There is enormous opportunity ahead but without the right economic and policy setting to drive productivity and reduce cost, we risk losing what should be our Golden Decade. 

Action is needed now to ensure the right economic and policy settings are in place so Queensland business can increase productivity and thrive now and into the future. 

To achieve this there must be government action to drive down costs, and establish a regulatory environment that does not put a hand break on productivity.  

There are significant opportunities for Queensland businesses in the next decade and beyond, but weak productivity puts those at risk.  

Heidi Cooper 
Business Chamber Queensland CEO 

Acknowledgement of Country

Business Chamber Queensland respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners and custodians of the lands from across Queensland and the Torres Strait. We acknowledge the Jagera and Turrbal people as the Traditional Custodians of Meanjin (Brisbane), the lands where our office is located and the place we meet, work and learn. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.