International factory productivity gains in 2006

September 28, 2007

Manufacturing labor productivity increased in 2006 in 15 of the 16 economies under comparison.

Manufacturing output per hour, selected countries, percent change, 2005-2006
[Chart data—TXT]

The Republic of Korea and Taiwan had the largest productivity increases (+10.8 and +6.9 percent, respectively).

The U.S. productivity increase of 2.4 percent placed it eleventh among the 16 economies compared, and was less than the average annual growth rate since 2000.

Manufacturing output increased in 14 of the 16 economies in 2006. Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan continued to be the leaders in the growth of output, as they have been for the last decade. In 2006, growth in manufacturing output in Germany, Norway and Denmark was also noticeably higher than their average annual rates of increase over the 1979-2006 period. The U.S. increase of 3.3 percent was also above its average annual increase since 1979 of 2.9 percent.

While 14 of the economies had increases in output in 2006, 9 economies had reductions in total hours worked in manufacturing. The United Kingdom had the greatest decline in hours in 2006, followed by Korea and France. Total hours worked increased in the United States by 0.9 percent, and by over 2 percent in Japan and Italy.

These data are from the Foreign Labor Statistics program. Data are subject to revision. Additional information is available in "International Comparisons of Manufacturing Productivity and Unit Labor Cost Trends, 2006" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 07-1456.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, International factory productivity gains in 2006 on the Internet at (visited September 27, 2016).


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