Related BLS programs | Related articles
December 1982, Vol. 105, No. 12
International trends in
productivity and labor costs
Patricia Capdevielle, Donato Alvarez, and Brian Cooper
Manufacturing productivity increased in 1981 in the United States, Japan, and most European countries studied, with gains ranging from about 2 to 4 percent in the United States, Japan, France, Germany,1 Italy, and the Netherlands, to almost 6 percent in the United Kingdom and Denmark, and more than 7 percent in Belgium. In Canada and Sweden, productivity remained essentially unchanged.
These productivity changes occurred in what was for most countries the second year of recession. In most European countries, productivity rose because employment and hours declined more than output. In the United States, Canada, and Japan, productivity gains were accompanied by modest output growthtemporary recoveries from 1980 declines in the United States and Canada.
Unit labor cost increases, which reflect changes in both productivity and hourly compensation costs, ranged from 2 to 5 percent in Japan, Germany, Belgium, Demark, and the Netherlands, up to 15 percent in France and 18 percent in Italy. When measured in U.S. dollars, however, unit labor costs declined substantially in all the European countries 5 to 20 percentbecause of the sharp appreciation of the dollar, while rising 7 to 8 percent in Canada and Japan as well as in the United States.
This excerpt is from an article published in the December 1982 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
Read abstract Download full article in PDF (1,637K)
1 The Federal Republic plus West Berlin.
Related BLS programs
Foreign Labor Statistics
Related Monthly Labor Review articles
U.S. and foreign productivity and unit labor costs.—Feb. 1997.
Manufacturing prices, productivity, and labor costs in five economies.—July 1995.
Comparative manufacturing productivity and unit labor costs.—Feb. 1995.
International comparisons of manufacturing compensation costs.—Nov. 1994.
International comparisons of manufacturing unit labor costs.—Dec. 1993.
Manufacturing productivity and labor costs in 14 economies.—Dec. 1991.
International comparisons of hourly compensation costs.—June 1989.
International comparisons of labor productivity in manufacturing.—Dec. 1988.
Within Monthly Labor Review Online:
Welcome | Current Issue | Index | Subscribe | Archives
Exit Monthly Labor Review Online:
BLS Home | Publications & Research Papers