Drop in foreign factory wage costs

September 27, 2001

Average hourly compensation costs in U.S. dollars for production workers in manufacturing in 28 foreign economies declined to 76 percent of the U.S. level in 2000 from 80 percent in 1999.

Index of hourly compensation costs in U.S. dollars for factory workers, selected international groups, 1999 and 2000
[Chart data—TXT]

Compensation costs relative to the United States continued to decline in Canada and throughout Europe in 2000, while relative costs rose in Japan, Korea, Mexico, and Taiwan.

The recent decline of relative compensation costs in 17 European economies studied resulted in higher compensation costs in the United States than in Europe for the first time since 1989. In 2000, average costs in the United States were 7 percent higher than for Europe, after being 7 percent lower in 1999.

These data are a product of the BLS Foreign Labor Statistics program. Data are subject to revision. The Asian newly industrialized economies (NIEs) represented in the chart include Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan. Additional information is available in International Comparisons of Hourly Compensation Costs for Production Workers in Manufacturing, 2000, news release USDL 01-311.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Drop in foreign factory wage costs on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2001/sept/wk4/art04.htm (visited July 31, 2016).

OF INTEREST

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.