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Europe – Hourly labour costs rise in most countries

17 December 2013

Hourly labour costs in the Eurozone rose by +1% in the nine months  up to September 2013, compared with +1.1% for the second quarter of 2013. Across the whole European Union, the annual rise was also +1% up to the third quarter, compared with +1.1% in the previous quarter, according to figures published by Eurostat, the statistical body of the European Union.

The two main components of labour costs are wages & salaries and non-wage costs. In the Eurozone; wages & salaries per hour worked rose by +1.3% and the non-wage component rose by +0.4% during the year-to-Q3, this is compared with +1.4% and +0.3% during the year-to-Q2.

In the wider European Union; hourly wages & salaries rose by +1.2% and the non-wage component by +0.3% during the year-to-Q3, compared with 1.3% and +0.5%, respectively, for the year-to-Q2.

In the year-to-Q3 2013, hourly labour costs in the Eurozone rose by +1.6% in the industrial sector and by +1% in both the services and the (mainly) non-business economy sectors, while they fell by -0.2% in construction. In the EU, labour costs per hour grew by +1.4% in the industrial sector, +1% in services, and +0.9% in the (mainly) non-business economy sectors, while they decreased by -0.2% in construction.

Among the EU Member States for which data are available for the third quarter of 2013, the highest annual increases in hourly labour costs for the whole economy were registered in Estonia (+8.1%), Lithuania (+6.2%), Latvia (+5.9%), Romania (+4.2%) and Austria (+3.9%). Decreases were recorded in Cyprus (-7.6%), the Czech Republic (-2.9%), Ireland (-1.6%), Slovenia (-0.6%) and Portugal (-0.1%).

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