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Europe – Hourly labour costs rising

20 March 2014

Hourly labour costs rose by +1.4% in the Eurozone (EA17) and by +1.2% in the EU28 during the fourth quarter of 2013, compared with the same quarter last year. In the third quarter of 2013, hourly labour costs increased by +1.1% in both zones, according to figures published by Eurostat, the statistical office 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 grew by +1.9%, while the non-wage component remained stable, in the fourth quarter of 2013 year-on-year.

In the third quarter of 2013 the annual increases were +1.3% and +0.5% respectively. In the EU28, hourly wages & salaries rose by +1.6% and the non-wage component by +0.1% for the fourth quarter of 2013, compared with +1.2% and +0.5% respectively for the third quarter of 2013.

In Q4 hourly labour costs in the Eurozone rose by +1.7% in industry, by +0.3% in construction, by +0.9% in services, and by +2.1% in the (mainly) non-business economy. In the EU28, labour costs per hour grew by +1.5% in industry, by +0.5% in construction, by +0.9% in services, and by +1.7% in the (mainly) non-business economy.

Among the Member States for which data are available for the fourth quarter of 2013, the highest annual increases in hourly labour costs for the whole economy were registered in Estonia (+7.2%), Latvia (+5.9%), Lithuania (+5.7%), Bulgaria (+4.3%) and Poland (+3.9%). Decreases were recorded in Cyprus (-6.5%) and Portugal (-0.4%).

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