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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

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)

05 Nov. 15

In September, labor market conditions in European economies compared improved modestly. France, Germany and Italy experienced lower unemployment rates, while the Netherlands and Sweden saw unemployment rise.  After four consecutive months of rising unemployment, the French unemployment rate decreased by one tenth of a percentage point (from 10.5 to 10.4) and also experienced growth in employment. Outside of Europe, joblessness remained stable in all countries compared.  However the US labor market experienced a setback as its employment index (January 2007 = 100) fell from 102.1 to 101.9, which is the first drop in employment since October of 2013.

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 the Manufacturing Sector, 1996-2013

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

Productivity and Unit Labor Costs

International Comparisons of Manufacturing Productivity & Unit Labor Costs Trends, 2014

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.

Consumer Prices

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

 05 Nov. 2015

In September, inflation based on the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) decreased in 11 of 16 economies compared, continuing recent price declines. Only Belgium, Norway, and Spain experienced somewhat higher inflation in September. The Euro Area and European Union, as well as Germany and the United Kingdom, experienced a near deflationary environment in September, the second time the general price level fell this year.  Low oil prices in September continued to have a large impact on the negative price changes experienced by many countries.  Among 16 economies compared, Norway (1.9 percent) was the only economy that saw inflation rates above one percent.

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 businesses help productivity recover?
Why is Britain's productivity growth so slow?
Has Germany outperformed the rest of Europe on productivity?

View all Insight Minutes

International and Labor Market Webcasts

Sustaining Business Profitability Through Productivity Growth

28 Oct. 2015 | Special Webcast

Recent research highlights productivity growth as a vital component for sustaining business profitability. Join us for this webcast, as we share our findings on productivity drivers in the United States and Europe, and explore how you can apply our insights to your business.

The Conference Board Economics Watch® - Emerging Markets View

15 Oct. 2015 | Economics Watch®

How will your company adjust to the ‘new normal’ of slower Chinese growth? Join us for an interactive discussion on the underlying factors behind recent developments and the impact  it may have on the global economy and business environment.    CPE Credit available.

Productivity Slowdown in Europe - Causes, Impact and Potential Solutions for Businesses

30 Sep. 2015 | Special Webcast

The productivity slowdown is hitting Europe across the board, but some countries are more affected than others. In this webcast, we'll focus in on the recent productivity performance of the British and German economies.

View all Webcasts on Demand

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

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