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Hourly labour costs continued to rise in the third quarter of the year with employers in the Euro countries facing higher expenses than those in the EU as a whole. Official statistics by the European Union today show that labour costs rose by +2.0% in the Eurozone and by +1.9% in the 27 member states when compared to a year ago.
Labour costs are mainly made up of wages and salaries, and so-called non-wage costs which include the employers’ social contributions and certain employment taxes.
Hourly labour costs for the business economy in Europe rose by +2.4% in the quarter, particularly in the industry sector (+3.2%), construction (+2.6%) and the services sector (+2.1%). The highest annual increases in hourly labour costs were posted in in Estonia (+7.6%) and Romania (+7.2%) while only in Slovenia did labour costs decline (-0.8%).
The story in the ‘non-business’ part of the economy (mostly public sector) was different. Here, Slovenia (-3.2%), Italy (-1.2%), UK (-0.9%) and Portugal (-0.7%) all saw a decline in labour costs.