Unit labor costs in manufacturing decline the most in Germany, Denmark in 2000

May 03, 2002

Unit labor costs fell by 15.8 percent in dollar terms in German manufacturing in 2000. The next steepest decline was also in Europe—manufacturing unit labor costs in Denmark declined by 15.1 percent.

Percent change in manufacturing unit labor costs (U.S. dollar basis), by country, 2000
[Chart data—TXT]

Of the 14 countries in the analysis, all except three experienced drops in manufacturing unit labor costs, expressed in U.S. dollars, in 2000. Unit labor costs rose by 1.0 percent in Korea, by 1.4 percent in the United States, and by 2.2 percent in Canada.

In these comparisons, unit labor costs are measured on a U.S. dollar basis and are strongly affected by changes in exchange rates. Movements in the currency markets in 2000 had a noticeable impact on comparative unit labor costs expressed in U.S. dollars. The European countries showed sharp decreases in unit labor costs expressed in U.S. dollars that were due largely to the relative strength of the dollar against European currencies in 2000.

These data are a product of the BLS Foreign Labor Statistics program. Data are subject to revision. Additional information is available in "International Comparisons of Labor Productivity and Unit Labor Costs in Manufacturing, 2000," BLS Report 962. Unit labor costs—the cost of the labor input required to produce one unit of output—are computed by dividing labor costs in nominal terms by real output. Unit labor costs also can be expressed as the ratio of hourly compensation to labor productivity.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Unit labor costs in manufacturing decline the most in Germany, Denmark in 2000 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2002/apr/wk5/art05.htm (visited September 29, 2016).


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