China’s Manufacturing Labor Costs Still Well Below U.S.

According to a recent study, hourly manufacturing compensation in China is only three percent of the U.S. hourly manufacturing wage.

China’s hourly wage represents just three percent of the hourly American compensation, according to a recent study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

BLS Economist Erin Lett, and Director of Global Demographics, The Conference Board, Judith Banister completed the research on manufacturing labor costs in China. They found that even though China’s hourly compensation in the manufacturing industry increased more rapidly than in previous years, the difference in China’s and America’s manufacturing wages was still great.

China’s share of total world manufactured exports was approximately 8 percent in 2004, about the same share as Japan in that year. China’s manufacturing industry is the largest in the world, employing more manufacturing workers than the G7 industrial countries combined.

In 2004, employees in China’s urban areas were compensated at a rate of $1.19 per hour, versus those employed in town and village, at $0.45 per hour. American manufacturing workers were compensated at an average hourly rate of $22.87 during the same time frame.

The complete research findings can be found by clicking here.

Average manufacturing hourly wage in various economies.
To view chart larger, click here.