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EUROSTAT: Labour costs in the EU - Hourly labour costs ranged from €3.8 to €40.3 across the EU Member States in 2014, lowest in Bulgaria, highest in Denmark

30/03/2015 | Economy | 

Source: A EUROSTAT press office

In 2014, average hourly labour costs in the whole economy (excluding agriculture and public administration) were estimated to be €24.6 in the European Union (EU) and €29.2 in the euro area (EA18). 

However, this average masks significant gaps between EU Member States, with the lowest hourly labour costs recorded in Bulgaria (€3.8), Romania (€4.6), Lithuania (€6.5) and Latvia (€6.6) and the highest in Denmark (€40.3), Belgium (€39.1), Sweden (€37.4) and Luxembourg (€35.9). 

Within the business economy, labour costs per hour were highest in industry (€25.5 in the EU and €32.0 in the euro area), followed by services (€24.3 and €28.2 respectively) and construction (€22.0 and €25.8). 

In the mainly non-business economy (excluding public administration), labour costs per hour were €24.7 in the EU and €29.1 in the euro area in 2014. 

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 24.4% in the EU and 26.1% in the euro area, with the lowest in Malta (6.9%) and Denmark (13.1%) and the highest in Sweden (31.6%) and France (33.1%).


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