The UK’s productivity puzzle is costing private sector workers an estimated £5,000 a year on average in lost income, a top statistician has said.

Lower output per worker since the financial crisis had translated into “sluggish wage growth”, said Katherine Kent, head of productivity at the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Her comments came as the ONS published new productivity figures.

It said productivity fell 0.2% year-on-year in the first three months of 2019.

This was the third quarter in a row of negative growth compared with the same period a year earlier.

Productivity – as measured by the amount of work produced per working hour – is the main driver of long-term economic growth and higher living standards.

While the UK economy has recovered from the downturn triggered by the

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