December 01, 2006
In the United States, hourly compensation costs for production workers in manufacturing increased 3.6 percent in 2005, to $23.65.
Average hourly compensation costs in U.S. dollars for production workers in manufacturing among 32 foreign economies were 80 percent of the U.S. level in 2005, virtually unchanged from 79 percent in 2004. Compensation costs relative to the United States rose or remained unchanged in 21 of the economies covered in 2005. Data for Poland, a relatively low labor cost country, are included for the first time.
When measured in national currency terms, trade-weighted average costs increased 2.9 percent in the combined 32 foreign economies in 2005. This was less than the increase in the United States, but the value of foreign currencies rose 3.1 percent against the U.S. dollar, resulting in a rise in hourly compensation costs in the foreign economies of 6.1 percent on a U.S. dollar basis.
These data are from the Foreign Labor Statistics program. The Asian newly industrializing economies are Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan. For more information, see International Comparisons of Hourly Compensation Costs for Production Workers in Manufacturing, 2005 (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 06-2020.