Last year, the hourly labour costs ranged from EUR 4.4 to EUR 42 across the EU Member States in 2016, the lowest being recorded in Bulgaria and Romania, the highest – in Denmark and Belgium.
According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, in 2016, average hourly labour costs in the whole economy (excluding agriculture and public administration) were estimated to be EUR 25.4 in the European Union (EU) and EUR 29.8 in the euro area. However, this average masks significant gaps between EU Member States, with the lowest hourly labour costs recorded in Bulgaria (EUR 4.4), Romania (EUR 5.5), Lithuania (EUR 7.3), Latvia (EUR 7.5), Hungary (EUR 8.3) and Poland (EUR 8.6), and the highest in Denmark (EUR 42), Belgium (EUR 39.2), Sweden (EUR 38), Luxembourg (EUR 36.6) and France (EUR 35.6).
In industry, labour costs per hour were EUR 26.6 in the EU and EUR 32.6 in the euro area, in services EUR 25.8 and EUR 28.7 respectively and in construction EUR 23.3 and EUR 26.1. In the mainly non-business economy (excluding public administration), labour costs per hour were EUR 26.6 in the EU and EUR 29.7 in the euro area in 2016.
Labour costs are made up of wages & salaries and non-wage costs such as employers’ social contributions. The share of non-wage costs in the whole economy was 23.9 percent in the EU and 26 percent in the euro area, ranging from 6.6 percent in Malta to 33.2 percent in France.
Between 2015 and 2016, hourly labour costs in the whole economy expressed in EUR rose by 1.6 percent in the EU and by 1.4 percent in the euro area. For Member States outside the euro area in 2016, and expressed in national currency, the largest rises in hourly labour costs in the whole economy were registered in Romania (+12.7 percent) and Bulgaria (+7.8 percent), and the smallest increases in the United Kingdom (+1.5 percent) and Denmark (+1.9 percent)./IBNA