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Manufacturing labor costs per hour: China, Vietnam, Mexico 2016-2020

Manufacturing labor costs per hour for China, Vietnam, Mexico from 2016 to 2020 (in U.S. dollars)

by Erin Duffin, last edited Aug 9, 2019
Manufacturing labor costs per hour: China, Vietnam, Mexico 2016-2020 In 2018, manufacturing labor costs in China were estimated to be 5.51 U.S. dollars per hour. This is compared to an estimated 4.45 U.S. dollars per hour in Mexico, and 2.73 U.S. dollars in Vietnam.
Manufacturing jobs in the United States

Many people in the United States believe manufacturing jobs to be the backbone of the U.S. economy, despite employment in the manufacturing sector decreasing since 1997, and the monthly change in manufacturing employment being highly variable. Although manufacturing added a value of about 10 percent to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018, employment in the United States has been moving away from manufacturing to other means of employment.

A difference in earnings

Part of this steering away from manufacturing could be due to a difference in labor costs. While hourly wages in Vietnam were less than three U.S. dollars in 2018, hourly wages in the U.S. manufacturing sector hovered around 27 U.S. dollars in 2018. The labor costs in the U.S. could simply be too high for companies, who look to countries such as China, Mexico, and Vietnam for cheaper labor.
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Manufacturing labor costs per hour for China, Vietnam, Mexico from 2016 to 2020 (in U.S. dollars)

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