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
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
14 Mar. 2016
In January, labor market conditions in European economies compared improved as most saw falling unemployment rates and rising employment. Unemployment rates decreased in Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden and remained stable in Italy. These countries also saw an increase in their employment index. Only France experienced a setback in the labor market, as unemployment rates increased and the employment index (January = 2007) decreased from 102.8 to 101.7, the largest decrease since July 2014. Outside of Europe, joblessness fell in the U.S. and Japan, but rose in Australia, which also experienced a decrease in employment. In Japan the employment picture improved as the employment index (January 2007 = 100) increased from 100.3 to 101.2, the largest increase recorded by Japan since the beginning of the ILC series in 2007.
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
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
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.
14 Mar. 2016
In January, inflation based on the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) increased or remained steady in 12 of 16 economies compared. The continued drop in oil prices put downward pressure on prices, but this was offset by increased price growth in services and medical care in the US and food prices in the Euro Area. The US experienced the biggest increase in annual inflation, from -0.1 to 0.8 percent, bringing the economy out of a deflationary environment that lasted all of 2015. Price growth in Japan continued to slow in January and, at zero percent inflation, is now on the edge of the deflationary boundary.
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.
|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?|
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
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 www.bls.gov/ilc.