October 28, 2005
Among fourteen countries under comparison, seven, including the United States, had manufacturing productivity gains of over 4.5 percent in 2004.
Korea registered the largest gain (12.1 percent), followed by Sweden (9.3 percent). Manufacturing productivity increased in all of the compared economies except Italy and Australia.
U.S. productivity growth in manufacturing in 2004 was 4.7 percent, about half the increase of 2003, and less than the average yearly increase over the last decade. It was greater, however, than the average annual growth rate since 1979. Six of the other 13 economies for which comparisons are available also had productivity growth in 2004 that exceeded their annual average increases over the 1979-2004 period.
These data are from the Foreign Labor Statistics program. Data are subject to revision. Additional information is available in "International Comparisons of Manufacturing Productivity and Unit Labor Cost Trends, 2004" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 05-1990.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, International factory productivity gains in 2004 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2005/oct/wk4/art05.htm (visited September 24, 2021).