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Europe – Labour costs higher in Euro countries

17 December 2012

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. 

The full report can be accessed here.


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