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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)

11 May 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 the Manufacturing Sector, 1996-2015

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 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)

11 May 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

Will India’s economy continue to outpace China’s?
How has Sub-Saharan Africa reacted to the recent drop in oil prices?
Is there a path away from volatility for the Gulf economies?

View all Insight Minutes

International and Labor Market Webcasts

The Conference Board Economics Watch® - Emerging Markets View

10 March, 2016 | Economics Watch®

Renewed turmoil in China's equity and currency markets in the first month of 2016 has stirred up uncertainty and pessimism around the globe. How will the slowdown in China's economy impact the rest of the world? CPE credit available

The Conference Board Economics Watch®

08 March, 2016 | Economics Watch®

Join us for a discussion on the housing market outlook. We will also explore risks and opportunities surrounding the most likely scenario. CPE credit available

The Conference Board Economics Watch® - European View

10 February, 2016 | Economics Watch®

Despite increased risks, both internal and external, the European economy will continue to expand throughout 2016. In this webcast we will take a deep dive into the most pressing issues with regards to the short-term outlook. 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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