September 11, 2003
Of 13 economies, Korea and Sweden recorded the highest manufacturing productivity gains in 2002. The Netherlands and the United Kingdom recorded the smallest gains. Italy posted the only decline.
The United States posted its highest annual growth rate in manufacturing output per hour in 15 years. The U.S. increase, at 6.4 percent, was the fourth largest among the 13 economies.
In 6 of the 13 economies, productivity increases in 2002 were close to or somewhat higher than the average growth rates of the second half of the 1990’s, after slowing down in 2001. The U.S. productivity growth rate was nearly two percentage points higher in 2002 than it had been in the late 1990s.
These data are from the Foreign Labor Statistics program, which provides international comparisons of hourly compensation costs; productivity and unit labor costs; labor force, employment and unemployment rates; and consumer prices. Data are subject to revision. For more information, see news release, "International Comparisons of Manufacturing Productivity and Unit Labor Cost Trends, 2002" (PDF) (TXT), USDL 03-469.