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Manufacturing compensation costs in foreign countries and in the United States, 2011

December 21, 2012

Average hourly compensation costs in U.S. manufacturing, at $35.53 in 2011, ranked approximately in the middle among 33 countries examined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Average hourly compensation costs in manufacturing, U.S. dollars, 1997 and 2011

Average hourly compensation costs in manufacturing, U.S. dollars, 1997 and 2011
CountryHourly compensation costs in U.S. dollars (1997)Hourly compensation costs in U.S. dollars (2011)

Norway

$25.84$64.15

Switzerland

30.4260.40

Belgium

28.9254.77

Denmark

23.7051.67

Sweden

25.0249.12

Germany

29.1647.38

Australia

18.9346.29

Finland

22.3644.14

Austria

24.9143.16

Netherlands

22.4542.26

France

24.8642.12

Ireland

16.6939.83

Canada

18.4936.56

Italy

19.7636.17

Japan

21.9935.71

United States

23.0435.53

United Kingdom

19.3030.77

Spain

13.9528.44

New Zealand

12.0623.38

Singapore

12.1522.60

Greece

11.6121.78

Israel

12.2821.42

Korea, Republic of

9.2218.91

Argentina

7.5515.91

Czech Republic

3.2513.13

Portugal

6.4512.91

Slovakia

2.8411.77

Brazil

7.0711.65

Taiwan

7.049.34

Hungary

3.059.17

Poland

3.158.83

Mexico

3.476.48

Philippines

1.282.01

In addition to Norway ($64.15), Australia ($46.29), Canada ($36.56), Italy ($36.17), and Japan ($35.71), countries with hourly compensation costs in manufacturing that were higher than those experienced by the United States were primarily in northern and western Europe. Countries with lower hourly compensation costs were primarily in southern and eastern Europe, Asia, and Latin America.  These countries included the United Kingdom ($30.77), Republic of Korea ($18.91), Brazil ($11.65), Taiwan ($9.34) and the Philippines ($2.01).

Between 1997 and 2011, compensation costs in manufacturing as a percent of U.S. costs increased or remained the same in all economies compared except Taiwan, improving U.S. cost competitiveness.

Average hourly compensation costs in manufacturing, as a percent of costs in the United States, 1997 and 2011

Average hourly compensation costs in manufacturing, as a percent of costs in the United States, 1997 and 2011
CountryPercent of U.S. hourly compensation costs (1997)Percent of U.S. hourly compensation costs (2011)

Norway

112181

Switzerland

132170

Belgium

125154

Denmark

103145

Sweden

109138

Germany

127133

Australia

82130

Finland

97124

Austria

108121

Netherlands

97119

France

108119

Ireland

72112

Canada

80103

Italy

86102

Japan

95101

United States

100100

United Kingdom

8487

Spain

6180

New Zealand

5266

Singapore

5364

Greece

5061

Israel

5360

Korea, Republic of

4053

Argentina

3345

Czech Republic

1437

Portugal

2836

Slovakia

1233

Brazil

3133

Taiwan

3126

Hungary

1326

Poland

1425

Mexico

1518

Philippines

66

These data are from the International Labor Comparisons program. To learn more, see "International Comparisons of Hourly Compensation Costs in Manufacturing, 2011," (HTML) (PDF) news release USDL-12-2460.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Editor's Desk, Manufacturing compensation costs in foreign countries and in the United States, 2011 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2012/ted_20121221.htm (visited April 19, 2014).

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