Sweden, Korea had largest factory productivity gains last year

September 11, 2003

Of 13 economies, Korea and Sweden recorded the highest manufacturing productivity gains in 2002. The Netherlands and the United Kingdom recorded the smallest gains. Italy posted the only decline.

Manufacturing output per hour, selected countries or areas, percent change, 2001-2002
[Chart data—TXT]

The United States posted its highest annual growth rate in manufacturing output per hour in 15 years. The U.S. increase, at 6.4 percent, was the fourth largest among the 13 economies.

In 6 of the 13 economies, productivity increases in 2002 were close to or somewhat higher than the average growth rates of the second half of the 1990’s, after slowing down in 2001. The U.S. productivity growth rate was nearly two percentage points higher in 2002 than it had been in the late 1990s.

These data are from the Foreign Labor Statistics program, which provides international comparisons of hourly compensation costs; productivity and unit labor costs; labor force, employment and unemployment rates; and consumer prices. Data are subject to revision. For more information, see news release, "International Comparisons of Manufacturing Productivity and Unit Labor Cost Trends, 2002" (PDF) (TXT), USDL 03-469.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Sweden, Korea had largest factory productivity gains last year on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2003/sept/wk2/art04.htm (visited September 25, 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.