The Conference Board International Labor Comparisons
ILC is dedicated to producing economic indicators that optimize research, comparison, and planning in a global context.
ILC Data by Indicator
ILC Features and Special Studies
Monthly ILC reports discontinued; related data available via other programs
Monthly data series on consumer prices and employment have been discontinued as part of International Labor Comparisons (ILC) and have been transitioned to The Conference Board Business Cycle Indicators (BCI) program. Monthly international indicators on inflation, employment and unemployment in the BCI database are prepared using ILC methodologies. To download these indicators, see the US BCI series.
Charting International Labor Comparisons
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
23 June 2015
In April, unemployment decreased or remained steady in all European countries compared except Sweden , which experienced an increase in joblessness of 0.3 percentage points (from 7.4 to 7.7). The labor market in Italy showed a strong performance as unemployment fell by 0.2 percentage points (from 12.7 to 12.5) and its employment index (January 2007 = 100) increased from 98.0 to 98.7. Canadian labor markets experienced a setback in April as unemployment increased and employment decreased.
To download monthly international unemployment rates and employment indexes, visit The Conference Board Business Cycle Indicators (BCI) program. International comparisons of monthly indicators are part of the U.S. BCI series. See country notes and technical notes associated with these series.
28 Aug. 2014
In the US, Canada, Germany, and Japan, rapidly falling unemployment rates reflect tightening labor markets. In contrast, high unemployment and increasing labor participation rates in Europe has resulted in an excess of available labor willing to fill jobs. Across most countries, growing numbers of women and older workers are joining the workforce, while youth are struggling to find jobs and increasingly dropping out of the labor force. Learn More
17 Dec. 2014
Relative to 2012, Japan, Greece, Brazil, Australia, Singapore, Canada and Taiwan all saw decreases in US dollar-denominated hourly compensation costs, reflecting improved labor-cost competitiveness against the US in 2013. There is also a wide disparity of labor-cost trends within the Euro Area, as European labor markets recover differently. Further, the latest compensation trends suggest that India is better placed than China to maintain and extend its manufacturing competitiveness.
Compensation costs by sub-manufacturing industry and special estimates on manufacturing compensation in China and India are accessible in time series tables and interactive dashboards. Learn More
26 May. 2015
The Conference Board International Labor Comparison (ILC) database reported a mild strengthening in manufacturing competitiveness in 2014 among most mature economies, primarily due to increased productivity. This improvement in labor cost per unit of manufacturing output, or unit labor cost (ULC), in part reflects the fact that average manufacturing productivity growth has held up at 1.3 percent in 2014 relative to 1.2 percent 2013. While hourly labor costs denominated in national currency continued to rise, most notably in the Euro Area, the appreciation of the US dollar against many currencies beginning in 2014 offset labor cost increases and made manufacturing production outside the United States less expensive in US dollar terms. Learn more.
23 June 2015
In April, inflation trends based on the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) showed positive signs in Europe, however the US continued to experience a deflationary environment. Annual inflation increased or remained steady in 11 of 17 economies compared. In Europe, only Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom still experienced deflation in April. However in the US, lower energy prices caused continued downward pressure on prices, causing deflation to fall to the lowest level since September 2009. In Japan, after 17 consecutive months of annual inflation at nearly 2.0 percent or greater, inflation dipped to 0.8 percent in April.
To download monthly international price indexes and inflation rates visit The Conference Board Business Cycle Indicators (BCI) program. International comparisons of monthly indicators are part of the U.S. BCI series. See country notes and technical notes associated with these series.
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.
11 June, 2015 | Economics Watch®
In a more challenging and turbulent environment how can businesses remain competitive? Be among the first to explore our recent findings on global productivity and competitiveness and stay ahead of the curve. CPE credit is available.
10 June, 2015 | Economics Watch®
As demand slowly returns and labor markets recover, could low productivity put a ceiling to the pace of recovery? Which regions and sectors are most productive? Join us to explore our newest research and assess your own competitiveness.
09 June, 2015 | Economics Watch®
The current trend in US productivity growth is weak and could pose a significant challenge to business profitability. Join us for an interactive discussion on productivity, who’s winning, and why in this month’s edition of Economics Watch.
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
Formerly a division of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 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.
ILC was eliminated by the federal government in 2013 due to across-the-board spending cuts. ILC produces internationally comparative datasets using the same concepts and methodology as those previously used by BLS. For historical data see www.bls.gov/ilc.