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Europe – Wages improve, but negative employment trend continues

17 June 2013

Hourly wages rose by +1.6% in the Eurozone and by +1.9% across the European Union in Q1 2013, compared with +1.3% for both regions in the previous quarter. In contrast, employment levels fell by -0.5% in the Eurozone and by -0.2% across the European Union in Q1 2013, quarter-on-quarter. Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, estimates that 221.9 million people were employed in the first quarter of 2013 across the European Union.

The highest annual increases in hourly labour costs were registered in Romania (+8.6%) and Estonia (7.5%). The sharpest decreases were reported in Slovenia (-3.8%), Cyprus (-0.7%), and Portugal (-0.3%).

The biggest quarter-on-quarter employment increases were measured in Lithuania (+2.4%), Estonia (+2.3%), and Latvia (+1.0%). Given the tough economic climate in Southern Europe, the largest decreases were posted in Greece (-2.3%), Portugal (-2.2%), Spain & Cyprus (both -1.3%), and Italy (-1.2%).

Year-on-year employment fell across the Eurozone and the European Union, by -1.0% and -0.4% respectively. The Baltic countries performed well, Lithuania grew +1.1%, Estonia by +2.3%, and Latvia by +4.8%. Greece (-6.5%), Portugal (-5.2%), Spain (-4.3%), Cyprus (-4.8%) performed most poorly.  

Employment declines were reported in most industry sectors across the Eurozone and European Union. Information & Communication, Professional & Support Services, and Arts & Entertainment bucked the trend by reporting marginal increases in employment between +0.1% and +1.2%. 

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