Unit labor costs in manufacturing dropped in 2003 in Japan, Taiwan, U.S.
March 09, 2005
Japan had the largest drop in unit labor costs in 2003 (in U.S. dollar terms). Taiwan and the United States were the only other economies among the 15 studied with a decline in unit labor costs in 2003.
In 2003, the dollar decreased in value against the currencies of all the other 14 economies compared, especially against the euro and other European currencies. This resulted in substantially higher unit labor costs in U.S. dollar terms for most of these economies.
Unit labor costs in U.S. dollars declined only where the U.S. dollar's depreciation was slight (Taiwan) or where the reduction in unit labor costs in national currency units was very large (Japan).
These data are from the Foreign Labor Statistics program. This article updates an item that appeared in The Editor’s Desk in 2004: "Manufacturing unit labor costs lower in 2003 in Taiwan". For more information, see news release, "International Comparisons of Manufacturing Productivity and Unit Labor Cost Trends, Revised Data for 2003" (PDF) (TXT), USDL 05-308. Unit labor costs are defined as the cost of labor input required to produce one unit of output. They are computed as labor compensation in nominal terms divided by real output.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Unit labor costs in manufacturing dropped in 2003 in Japan, Taiwan, U.S. on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2005/mar/wk1/art03.htm (visited December 09, 2016).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
Workplace injuries and illnesses and employer costs for workers’ compensation
Workplace injury and illness data and the costs to employers for workers’ compensation in natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations.
A look at the future of the U.S. labor force to 2060
Projected long-term trends in the growth, size, and composition of the labor force.
Union membership in the United States
Historical trends in union membership among employed wage and salary workers; union membership by a variety of demographic characteristics.
A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
Spending on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.
Self-employment in the United States
Trends in self-employment by various demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, including both the unincorporated and the incorporated self-employed, as well as data on paid employees who work for the self-employed.