March 04, 2009
The Republic of Korea and Taiwan had the largest gains in manufacturing labor productivity—8.7 percent each—among 17 economies compared. The United States productivity increase of 4.7 percent was the fourth largest.
Two other countries had manufacturing labor productivity increases greater than 4.0 percent: Germany (4.9 percent) and Belgium (4.4 percent).
Manufacturing labor productivity increased in 2007 in 14 of the 17 economies compared.
Singapore, included for the first time in these comparisons, had the steepest decline of the three economies where productivity declined.
These data are from the Foreign Labor Statistics program. Labor productivity is measured by output per hour. Data are subject to revision. This article updates one that appeared in The Editor’s Desk in 2008: "International factory productivity gains, and losses, in 2007." To learn more, see "International Comparisons of Manufacturing Productivity and Unit Labor Cost Trends 2007, Revised" (PDF) (HTML), news release USDL 09-0222.