Hourly compensation for manufacturing employees in the United States averaged $34.74 in 2010, an increase of about 2% from the previous year, according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report.
From 1997 to 2010, BLS noted, compensation costs in the United States improved relative to all but five countries: Brazil, Germany, Japan, the Phillipines and Taiwan.
Norway topped the international rankings for manufacturing costs. Compensation averaged $57.53 in 2010, an increase of approximately 8% from 2009. According to Statistics Norway, manufacturing, mining and quarrying employment in the country fell 3% from 2009 to 2010, to a total of 237,000.
Two of the United States' largest trading partners both saw manufacturing costs increase. Canada (#1) averaged $35.67 an hour, with costs going up about 17% compared to the U.S. Mexico (#3) averaged $6.23 as its costs increased about 9%.
The changes in manufacturing compensation costs in U.S. dollars are calculated based on changes in costs in a country's national currency plus the change in the value of the country's currency relative to the U.S. dollar, BLS explains.