Japan’s labor productivity remained the lowest among the Group of Seven countries in 2018, public interest foundation the Japan Productivity Center said Wednesday.

Based on data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the group estimated the value of Japan’s productivity in 2018 at $46.8, or ¥4,744, per hour of labor, compared with $74.7, or ¥7,571, for the United States.

Japan has remained the least productive G7 member since 1970, from when survey records are available. Of the OECD’s 36 members, Japan ranked 21st in 2018.

In manufacturing productivity rankings, however, Japan came above Germany for the first time since 2013.

The 2018 productivity figure for Japan rose 1.5 percent from the previous year in nominal terms, pushed up by the yen’s appreciation against other currencies.

While Japanese companies increased employment to cover labor shortages, the country’s economic growth was not as strong as anticipated, the group said.

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