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Compensation costs for all employees in manufacturing measured in U.S. dollars continued to rise in 2008 in most foreign economies — with only two countries, the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom, showing a decrease in costs.
The strongest growth in hourly compensation costs in U.S. dollars was seen in the Eastern European countries (26.0 percent), Argentina (24.7 percent), Israel (23.5 percent) and Singapore (19.5 percent). The changes in hourly compensation in Canada and Mexico were relatively small (2.0 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively).
In the Republic of Korea, the majority of the 16.2-percent decrease was due to the depreciation of the won (‑15.4 percent). In the United Kingdom, the entire 3.6-percent decrease was due to the depreciation of the pound.
In the United States, hourly compensation costs for all employees in manufacturing rose 2.4 percent from the 2007 level to $32.26 in 2008.
This data is from the International Labor Comparisons program. To learn more, see "International Comparisons of Hourly Compensation Costs in Manufacturing, 2008" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL 10-1173.