Bureau of Labor Statistics

Drop in foreign factory wage costs

September 27, 2001

Average hourly compensation costs in U.S. dollars for production workers in manufacturing in 28 foreign economies declined to 76 percent of the U.S. level in 2000 from 80 percent in 1999.

Index of hourly compensation costs in U.S. dollars for factory workers, selected international groups, 1999 and 2000
[Chart data—TXT]

Compensation costs relative to the United States continued to decline in Canada and throughout Europe in 2000, while relative costs rose in Japan, Korea, Mexico, and Taiwan.

The recent decline of relative compensation costs in 17 European economies studied resulted in higher compensation costs in the United States than in Europe for the first time since 1989. In 2000, average costs in the United States were 7 percent higher than for Europe, after being 7 percent lower in 1999.

These data are a product of the BLS Foreign Labor Statistics program. Data are subject to revision. The Asian newly industrialized economies (NIEs) represented in the chart include Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan. Additional information is available in International Comparisons of Hourly Compensation Costs for Production Workers in Manufacturing, 2000, news release USDL 01-311.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Drop in foreign factory wage costs at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2001/sept/wk4/art04.htm (visited January 28, 2022).

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