September 27, 2006
Among fifteen countries under comparison, fourteen had manufacturing productivity gains in 2005. Denmark, which experienced no change in productivity, was the lone exception.
The U.S. manufacturing productivity increase of 5.1 percent was fifth greatest among the economies compared, behind Korea, Taiwan, Canada, and Germany.
Korea and Taiwan continued to be among the leaders in the growth of manufacturing output, as they have been for the last decade. Sweden, also a leader in manufacturing output growth over the decade, had more modest output growth in 2005. U.S. manufacturing output growth, like that of most of the economies, also slowed in 2005.
Decline in total hours worked, the other factor responsible for productivity growth, was also strongly evident in 2005. While 10 of the economies had increases in output, 14 had reductions in hours. The Netherlands had the greatest decline in hours in 2005, followed closely by the United Kingdom, Canada, and Belgium.
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, 2005" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 06-1655.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, International factory productivity gains in 2005 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2006/sept/wk4/art03.htm (visited May 17, 2022).