October 02, 2002
Average hourly compensation costs in U.S. dollars for production workers in manufacturing in 29 foreign economies declined to 67 percent of the U.S. level in 2001 from 71 percent in 2000.
The U.S. average costs were higher than the trade-weighted average for Europe (although five European countries had higher hourly compensation costs than did the United States) and for the combined 29 economies. Compensation costs in Japan fell below the U.S. level in 2001 for the first time in three years.
These data are from the BLS Foreign Labor Statistics program. Data on hourly compensation are preliminary and subject to revision. For additional information, see news release USDL 02-549, "International Comparisons of Hourly Compensation Costs for Production Workers in Manufacturing, 2001." Note that the statistics for foreign economies presented here reflect fluctuations in exchange rates as well as changes in hourly compensation expressed in each country’s national currency.