Hourly compensation drops the most in Korea in 1998

January 12, 2000

Of 29 countries studied by BLS, Korea had the greatest decline in 1998 in hourly compensation costs, measured in U.S. dollars, for production workers in manufacturing—31.4 percent.

Percent change in hourly compensation costs in U.S. dollars for production workers in manufacturing, U.S. and selected countries
[Chart data—TXT]

Other countries besides Korea with a 10 percent or greater decline in hourly compensation costs in 1998 included Taiwan (10.7 percent) and Australia (10.0 percent). Hourly compensation for manufacturing production workers measured in U.S. dollars also fell in 12 additional countries, including Japan, Canada, and Italy.

Hourly compensation costs in Japan decreased for the third consecutive year in 1998. In Canada, the drop in hourly compensation costs of 4.7 percent was the largest one-year decline in that country since BLS began the series in 1975.

In the United Kingdom, hourly compensation costs increased the most of all the countries studied by BLS—6.2 percent. Hourly compensation in manufacturing expressed in U.S. dollars also rose in Mexico (2.8 percent), the U.S. (1.9 percent), France (1.6 percent), and Germany (1.1 percent).

These data are a product of the BLS Foreign Labor Statistics program. For additional information, see news release USDL 00-07, International Comparisons of Hourly Compensation Costs for Production Workers in Manufacturing, 1998. Note that the statistics for foreign economies presented here reflect fluctuations in exchange rates as well as changes in hourly compensation expressed in each country’s national currency. Measured in national currency, every country in the analysis except Italy had an increase in hourly compensation costs for manufacturing production workers in 1998. However, the dollar appreciated in 1998 against nearly all of the foreign countries studied, resulting in declines in hourly compensation costs measured in U.S. dollars in many countries.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Hourly compensation drops the most in Korea in 1998 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2000/jan/wk2/art03.htm (visited September 30, 2016).


Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics

  • A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
    As one of the largest U.S. industries, healthcare is steadily growing to meet the needs of an increasing population with an increasing life expectancy. This Spotlight looks at how much people spend on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.

  • Employment and Wages in Healthcare Occupations
    Healthcare occupations are a significant percentage of U.S. employment. Some of the largest and highest paying occupations are in healthcare. This Spotlight examines employment and wages for healthcare occupations.

  • Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
    Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.