United States: 19 million
Germany: 11 million
Germany had 57% of the industrial workers of the United States, but its industrial output did not come close to matching 57% of the industrial output of the United States.
Using John Ellis' WW2 databook, I've put together a chart showing peak annual output of key industrial items during the war and how Germany and the USA compare:
Naval figures are for cumulative rather than annual output.
I've marked in green those items for which Germany produced more than 57% of the US output, which are:
This chart doesn't take into account workers by industry, and I don't have that information, so if anyone does, that would be helpful to better understand relative labor productivity in the United States and Germany.
Other factors to consider are that U.S. bombers and fighters were heavier and more expensive to produce than German fighters and bombers. In addition, the German tank production figure takes into account turretless assault guns, which were far cheaper to produce than turreted tanks. For a more apples to apples comparison, Germany produced 8,569 Panzer IVs during the war, while the United States produced 49,239 Shermans. Consider also that the standard German submarine, the Type VII, displaced only half as much weight as the standard U.S. Gato and Balao class submarines, and even the longer range Type IX displaced only two-thirds as much weight as its U.S. counterparts.
The United States was also alone among major belligerents in increasing rather than decreasing consumer output during the war. In terms of calories, the American people were generally fed better than they had been before the war, and they consumed more meat, shoes, clothing, and energy.
Altogether, it should be clear that German industrial labor was far less productive than American industrial labor during WW2. This was due to a number of factors:
- German reliance on slave labor
- American plants and equipment designed for mass production vs German craft system of manufacturing
- Vastly superior American access to raw materials, both domestically and from Latin America and the British Empire
https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id= ... up&seq=218
https://www.nber.org/system/files/chapt ... /c3132.pdf
Previously discussed here: viewtopic.php?p=2352011#p2352011