International Labor Comparisons

International Comparisons of Hourly Compensation Costs in Manufacturing, 2012

Technical Notes (PDF)
Country Notes and Data Sources (PDF)

Elimination of ILC
  • BLS has eliminated the International Labor Comparisons (ILC) program. This is the last BLS release of international comparisons of hourly compensation costs.
  • BLS is aware of other organizations that have obtained the methodology and intend to produce ILC indicators similar to those done previously by BLS. Please see the announcement at

In comparison with 33 foreign countries covered, U.S. manufacturing hourly compensation costs in 2012 ranked approximately in the middle at $35.67 (see Chart 1). In addition to Australia and Canada, countries with higher hourly compensation costs were primarily in northern and western Europe. Countries with lower hourly compensation costs were primarily in southern and eastern Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

Between 1997 and 2012, compensation costs in manufacturing as a percent of U.S. costs (see Table 1) increased or remained the same in all economies compared except Taiwan, improving U.S. cost competitiveness.

Chart 1.

Hourly compensation costs in manufacturing, U.S. dollars, 2012