Eurostat – Hourly labour costs in the EU: Lowest in Bulgaria and Romania, highest in Denmark, Luxembourg and Belgium

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In 2018, average hourly labour costs in the whole economy (excluding agriculture and public administration) were estimated to be €27.4 in the European Union (EU) and €30.6 in the euro area.  However,  the average  masks significant  gaps  between  EU  Member  States,  with  the lowest  hourly  labour  costs  recorded  in Bulgaria(€5.4), Romania (€6.9), Lithuania (€9.0), Hungary (€9.2) and Latvia (€9.3), and  the  highest  in Denmark (€43.5), Luxembourg (€40.6), Belgium (€39.7),  Sweden (€36.6), the Netherlands (€35.9) and France (€35.8), Eurostat informs.

Hourly labour costs in industry were €27.4 in the EU and € 33.2 in the euro area. In services, they were €27.0 and €29.6, respectively.

In construction, hourly labour costs were €25.0 in the EU and €27.6in  the euro  area.  In  the mainly non-business economy (excluding public administration), they were €28.5 and €30.8, respectively. Labour costs consist of wages & salaries and non-wage costs (e.g. employers’ social contributions).

The share of non-wage costs in total labour costs for the whole economy was 23.7% in the EU and 25.6% in the euro area. It ranged from 6.1% in Malta to 32.6% in France

In 2018, compared with previous year, hourly labour costs in the whole economy expressed in €rose by 2.7% in the EU and by 2.2% in the euro area.

Within the euro area, the largest increases were recorded in Latvia (+12.9%), Lithuania (+10.4%), Estonia and Slovakia (both +6.8%). Hourly labour costs increased least in Malta (+0.4%), Finland (+1.2%), Spain (+1.3%) and Portugal (+1.4%).When  comparing  labour  cost  estimates  over  time,  levels  expressed in  national  currency  should  be  used to eliminate  the  influence  of  exchange  rate  movements. For  Member  States  outside  the euro  area in 2018, the largest increases in  hourly  labour  costs  in  the  whole  economy,  expressed  in  national  currency, were observed in Romania (+13.3%) and Hungary (+9.8%). They increased least in Denmark (+1.9%), Sweden (+2.3%)  and  the United Kingdom (+3.3%).

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