No change in foreign wage differential

September 08, 2000

Average hourly compensation costs in U.S. dollars for manufacturing production workers in 28 foreign economies remained at 79 percent of the U.S. level in 1999. Wages in these economies, taken as a group, had declined in the previous three years.

Index of hourly compensation costs in U.S. dollars for factory workers, 1998 and 1999
[Chart data—TXT]

Although costs in Europe and Canada continued to decline relative to the United States, compensation costs in Mexico, Japan, and the Asian newly industrializing economies (NIEs) of Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan increased at a faster rate than in the United States.

In the United States, hourly compensation costs for production workers were $19.20 in 1999, a 2.9 percent increase from the 1998 level. Average hourly compensation costs in Europe were $20.31, the lowest for this region in three years.

These data are a product of the Foreign Labor Statistics program. Changes in compensation costs in U.S. dollars reflect both the movements of costs in national currencies and changes in exchange rates. Read more on foreign labor costs in news release USDL 00-254, International Comparisons of Hourly Compensation Costs for Production Workers in Manufacturing, 1999.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, No change in foreign wage differential on the Internet at (visited September 26, 2016).


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