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Peer Review

A Chartbook of International Labor Comparisons



Overall Numeric Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Jun 27, 2011 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: This site provides excellent statistics on labor comparisons of nations across the globe. This chart book provides in-depth comparisons of labor statistics with regard to GDP, size of labor force, gender differences, growth rates, education and other economic factors. This information will be very useful for students doing research in economics, and labor studies specifically on the emerging economies. The appendix provides detailed explanation of the various terms used.
Type of Material: Reference Material
Recommended Uses: This is a great tool for researchers (note: a section of the website is devoted specifically to these individuals), for managers, and for economics students.
Technical Requirements: These modules are best viewed with a 1024 x 768 window resolution and work with following browsers: • Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher • Netscape 7.1 • Mozilla 1.6 or higher • Firefox 0.8 or higher
Identify Major Learning Goals: • This site is an excellent source of information for anyone desiring to compare and contrast labor and economic metrics of nations from around the world. • Students will also discover a high-quality repository of information for academic research and study.
Target Student Population: • This site can be used by beginning learners and would be useful for graduate level students. • This site will work well for any discipline calling for information on economic conditions, unemployment rates, inflation and how these metrics compare from country to country around the world. •The site is good for individual or group activities.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Primary browsing skills. Geography knowledge will help in better appreciating the various countries with respect to their locations on the map.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The information provided is clear and focused. The international labor force series are constructed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to provide meaningful comparisons by selecting the U.S. concepts of labor force, employment, and unemployment for comparative purposes The information is provided in a majority of charts. Several government agencies have participated in the compilation of the data. Most of the information is based on 2007 data. The data on monthly and quarterly unemployment rates are updated on a monthly basis for ten countries. Because statistical concepts and methods vary from country to country, international comparisons of statistical data may be misleading. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has attempted to derive meaningful comparisons by selecting a conceptual framework for comparative purposes; analyzing foreign statistical series and selecting those which most nearly match the desired concepts; and adjusting statistical series, where necessary and feasible, for greater inter-country comparability. The BLS site also lists a number of sources that can provide the data for countries not covered by the BLS.
Concerns: There is so much data that it is at first overwhelming; the navigation system however makes it easy to see the topics at a glance.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The data will be very effective to use in research on labor statistics. The BLS site provides extensive data compiled from various sources from various countries. The glossary and FAQ sections provide detailed explanations of the terms used and provide answers to a lot of common questions regarding the data compilations. The comparisons relate primarily to the major industrial countries, but other countries are included in certain measures.
Concerns: This website attempts to be comprehensive, but even so there are some data that are missing. The website acknowledges this however, stating the topics that are not inclusive and not covered.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: This website is extremely easy to use, organized by the following categories: economy, output, occupation, laborforce. Each tab has a dropdown menu that allows for more specific selection.
Concerns: None.

Other Issues and Comments: High value should be placed on a site that gives accurate information that can be culled quickly. This site definitely offers both of these qualities and therefore this site is highly recommended.