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International Comparisons of Manufacturing Productivity and Unit Labor Costs Trends, 2015

30 June 2016

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Press Release


Developments in Manufacturing Productivity, 2014-2015

Summary Tables, 2015

Time Series Tables, 1950-2015

*Based on preliminary estimates for 2015

  • Manufacturing productivity growth continued to slow from 2014 to 2015 in nearly two-thirds of economies compared, dipping below 1 percent in 12 of 22 economies
  • US manufacturing registered a marginal increase from no productivity growth in 2014 to 0.4 percent in 2015
  • 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
  • Manufacturing productivity in Germany remained below 1 percent, while Irish productivity surged to double digits

 To view international comparisons of productivity see Table 1.

Click on image to view chart

Developments in Manufacturing Unit Labor Costs, 2014-2015

*Based on preliminary estimates for 2015

  • 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
    • The marginal increase in US productivity from 2014 to 2015 could not offset currency led losses in competitiveness
  • For nearly all economies, rising competitiveness was the result of currency advantages, as dismal productivity growth could not overtake increases in labor cost

 To view international comparisons of unit labor costs see Table 3.

 Click on image to view chart

Download Data and Related Products

To download the complete International Comparisons of Manufacturing Productivity and Unit Labor Costs Trends dataset and to view related data products please see the Data page.


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Productivity and Unit Labor Costs, 2017 - Downloads

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Summary Tables

Time Series Data 

Sources & Methods

U.S. Indicators
Global Indicators