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November 2006

Labor costs of manufacturing employees in China: an update to 2003?04

Erin Lett, Judith Banister

With the emergence of Chinese products on the international market, there has been increasing interest in the statistics of China's manufacturing industry, particularly for hourly compensation costs (total labor costs to employers). This article updates the 2002 compensation estimates for total Chinese manufacturing, first published in an August 2005 article in the Monthly Labor Review, with data for 2003 and 2004. While total hourly compensation costs for manufacturing workers increased more rapidly in China than in the United States between 2002 and 2004, hourly compensation per employee in China continued to be 3 percent of the level in the United States.

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