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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

Updated. Monthly Unemployment Rates and Employment Indexes, 2007-2015 (updated monthly)

18 July 2016 

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.

International Comparisons of Annual Labor Force Statistics, 1970-2013

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

Hourly Compensation Costs (Wages and Benefits)

International Comparisons of Hourly Compensation Costs in Manufacturing, 2015

12 Apr 2016

Hourly compensation costs and related indicators are updated through 2014, with preliminary estimates for 2015. For the first time, estimates are included for Turkey.

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

Productivity and Unit Labor Costs

International Comparisons of Manufacturing Productivity & Unit Labor Cost Trends, 2015

30 Jun 2016

Manufacturing productivity growth continued to slow from 2014 to 2015 in nearly two-thirds of economies compared, dipping below 1 percent in 12 of 21 economies. Productivity in the Euro Area has improved by more than half a percentage point from 1.1 percent in 2014 to 1.7 percent in 2015. German productivity remained below 1 percent, while Irish productivity surged to double digits.

During 2014-2015, changes in unit labor costs in USD terms were primarily driven by exchange rate fluctuations, rather than productivity growth. The strong appreciation of the dollar beginning in mid-2014 deteriorated US manufacturing competitiveness relative to all economies compared. Learn more.

Consumer Prices

Updated. Monthly International Indexes of Consumer Prices, (Updated Monthly)

18 July 2016

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.


Insight Minute Videos

How can CEO's navigate the digital economy?
Does your company have a strategy for dealing with prolonged labor shortages?
Can we look to immigrants to help meet shortages in U.S. labor supply?

View all Insight Minutes

International and Labor Market Webcasts

The Conference Board Economics Watch® - Emerging Markets View

14 July, 2016 | Economics Watch

Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to be become the fastest-growing region in the world for the next decade. However, significant challenges remain. How will businesses adopt strategies to succeed across different groups of economies in the region? CPE credit available

How Does Your State Compare? Labor Shortages in the US

13 July, 2016 | KnowlEdge Series

Labor shortages will affect not only which jobs are experiencing labor shortages but where those jobs are located. This webcast examines the differences in labor shortages by state and regions in the US. HRCI, SHRM, and CPE credit available

The Conference Board Economics Watch® - European View

13 July, 2016 | Economics Watch

Join us to discuss developments affecting the short-term outlook of the Euro Area economy, and the debate over the Market Economy Status (MES) of China. CPE credit available

View all Webcasts on Demand


Workshop on International Labor and Productivity Comparisons

On October 15, 2015, The Conference Board International Labor Comparisons program, with the support of the Alfred P. Sloan foundation, hosted a Workshop on International Labor and Productivity Comparisons. The Conference Board researchers presented a series of white papers on three main research topics:

  • The relationship between wages and productivity
  • Competitiveness and unit labor costs trends and improvements
  • Labor cost projections

During the workshop, paper discussants and workshop attendees were asked to provide comments on TCB research.  The authors have incorporated feedback from the workshop and have published the resulting white papers as part of The Conference Board Economics Program Working Paper series. The working papers are free and available to the public for download.

Download Working Papers

International Labor Cost Projections

Wage-Productivity Growth Gap: An Analysis of Industry Data

International Comparisons of Manufacturing Unit Labor Costs: Sources, Trends, and New Directions

Discontinued ILC Series

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

17 Dec. 2013

XLSTime 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.

International Indexes of Consumer Prices, 2013

15 Apr. 2014

PDF Full Report

XLS Time Series tables, 1950-2013

PDF Technical Notes

PDF Country Notes

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

The use of all TCB data and materials is subject to the Terms of Use. Reprint requests are reviewed individually and may be subject to additional fees. TCB reserves the right to deny any request.

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Leading Economic Index for:

  • Australia 0.1%
  • Brazil 1.9%
  • China 0.7%
  • Euro Area 0.1%
  • France 0.3%
  • Germany 0.1%
  • India 0.4%
  • Japan 1.1%
  • Korea 0.9%
  • Mexico 0.0%
  • Spain 0.2%
  • U.K. 0.3%
  • U.S. 0.4%
  • International Labor Comparisons:
  • Visit ILC website
  • Productivity:
  • Visit Total Economy Database™ website
  • Global Economic Outlook:
  • Visit Global Economic Outlook website