October 18, 2000
Of 10 industrialized countries, the United States' gain in manufacturing labor productivity of 6.2 percent was the highest in 1999. Productivity growth in the United Kingdom was 4.3 percent, while France registered a growth rate of 4.0 percent.
Other countries with notable increases in manufacturing output per hour were Japan and Sweden. Productivity in the manufacturing sector rose by 3.1 percent in Japan and 2.9 percent in Sweden.
Productivity growth in U.S. manufacturing was higher in 1999 than in 1998—the percent change in 1998 was 4.9 percent. In seven of the other nine countries, the rate of productivity growth was also higher in 1999 than 1998. The exceptions were Germany, where productivity growth went from 3.5 percent in 1998 to 1.4 percent in 1999, and Norway, where productivity growth went from 0.8 percent in 1998 to 0.0 percent in 1999.
These data are a product of the BLS Foreign Labor Statistics program. Data are preliminary and subject to revision. Additional information is available in "International Comparisons of Manufacturing Productivity and Unit Labor Cost Trends, 1999," news release USDL 00-295.
Revised data for 1999 can be found in "U.S. had largest productivity gains in manufacturing in 1999" (04/06/2001).