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ILC Features and Special Studies

Charting International Labor Comparisons

Charting International Labor Comparisons, 2014

21 Mar. 2014

Compare national labor markets and international competitiveness through charts and accompanying insights. Charts highlight labor costs, labor productivity, and other comparable indicators for up to 38 countries, including emerging economies.  Learn More


Labor Force, Employment, and Unemployment

Monthly Unemployment Rates and Employment Indexes, 2007-2014 (updated monthly)

Updated. 10 July 2014

In May, labor markets improved overall across the advanced economies, but recovery was most robust in Japan, Sweden, and the Netherlands, where rising employment was coupled with falling unemployment.  Learn More

Annual Labor Force Statistics, 1970-2012

07 Jun. 2013

In 2012, the United States had the 6th highest unemployment rate of the 16 countries compared. Spain ranked the highest followed closely by South Africa, while South Korea maintained the lowest unemployment rate for the year.  Learn More


Hourly Compensation Costs (Wages and Benefits)

In the Manufacturing Sector, 1996-2012

09 Aug. 2013

In comparison with 33 foreign countries covered, US manufacturing hourly compensation costs in 2012 ranked approximately in the middle at $35.67. Countries with higher hourly compensation costs were primarily in northern and western Europe, and countries with lower hourly compensation costs were primarily in southern and eastern Europe, Asia, and Latin America.  Learn More

In Sub-Manufacturing Industries, 2008-2012

09 Aug. 2013

The greatest variation in compensation across industries occurs primarily in Brazil and Mexico and countries in Eastern Europe and Asia. However, the highest and lowest compensated industries tend to be similar across countries. In 2012, coke and petroleum products and pharmaceuticals were among the highly paid industries, while the lower paid industries included apparel and wood products manufacturing.  Learn More


Productivity and Unit Labor Costs

International Comparisons of Manufacturing Productivity & Unit Labor Costs Trends, 2012

17 Dec. 2013

In 2012, productivity weakened in 12 of the 19 economies compared. Nearly all Euro Area countries compared saw larger declines in unit labor costs than the US, meaning these countries increased their competitive edge against US manufacturing. On the other hand, unit labor costs rose across all Asian economies compared, making manufacturing in these countries less competitive. Learn more.


Consumer Prices

Monthly International Indexes of Consumer Prices, (Updated Monthly)

05 June. 2014

In May, inflation declined in all Euro Area countries compared except France, while Japanese inflation (4.5 percent) was the highest in over 30 years.  Learn more.


International Indexes of Consumer Prices, 2013

15 Apr. 2014

Average annual inflation in 2013 slowed in 13 of the 16 economies compared, and most economies experienced declining inflation for the second year in a row. Inflation in the Euro Area as a whole fell from 2.5 percent in 2012 to 1.3 percent in 2013, reflecting the sluggish economic conditions in member countries throughout the year. Learn more.



Insight Minute Videos

Will deflation affect your investment decisions?


Assessing International Cost Competitiveness

View past International Labor Comparisons Insight Minutes


International Labor Market Webcasts

Emerging Markets View

15 May 2014 | The Conference Board Economics Watch®

An overview of main labor market trends across emerging markets, focusing on employment and unemployment growth.  A special focus will be on comparing compensation across major emerging countries.


The Productivity Imperative for Growth and Competitiveness

02 April, 2014 | KnowlEdge Series®

What drives differences in economic performance and competitiveness across countries? This webcast reveals the latest findings on the impact of productivity on economic growth, job growth, and manufacturing cost competitiveness.

View past international labor market webcasts


Discontinued ILC Series

International Comparisons of GDP per capita & per hour worked, 2012

17 Dec. 2013

 XLS Time Series tables, 1960-2012

 PDF  Technical Notes

 Ongoing Related Series: See The Conference Board Total Economy DatabaseTM (TED) for international comparisons of GDP, population, employment, hours worked, labor quality, capital services, labor productivity, and total factor productivity for 123 countries.


About the International Labor Comparisons Program

The International Labor Comparisons (ILC) program prepares economic indicators that are comparable across countries. Often statistics from different countries are not comparable and do not allow for meaningful comparative analysis. In contrast, ILC adjusts economic statistics to facilitate meaningful and accurate comparisons between countries by using a common conceptual framework. These data can be used to evaluate the economic performance of one country relative to others.


The Conference Board continues government program on International Labor Comparisons 


 The Conference Board will continue a statistical program on international labor statistics that was eliminated by the federal government in 2013 due to across-the-board spending cuts. The Conference Board will continue the program on its current basis and make the data available to the public at no cost.

For historical data see 

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