Productivity in Australia declined for the fifth straight quarter in two years, going down to 0.2 per cent in the September quarter.
It is the second lowest productivity score in 15 years after 2004-05. Hardest hit were the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors whose productivity tumbled down by 13.5 per cent.
"For quite a while the strong performance of the mining sector has masked our underlying failure to improve labour productivity," News.com.au quoted PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) partner Jeremy Thorpe.
Even mining's productivity actually declined by 2.5 per cent.
PwC, a global financial services house which prepared the productivity report, said urgent efforts are needed to revive sectors with weak productivity such as agriculture and tourism.
The report said that the mining industry actually hurts the tourism sector, but for the latter to survive, it must capitalise on the mining boom. The negative impact was that mining took a major share in rural accommodation, hiked prices and made it difficult for tourism to attract low-skilled labour.
However, Mr Thorpe pointed out that mining's boom is here to stay and it is the tourism industry which has to adapt rather than wait for mining to decline. The report recommended that tourism take advantage of the mining boom in Western Australia and Queensland to cater to non-leisure and business tourism, as well as the Chinese market and domestic tourists
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