Increase in hourly labour costs in Bulgaria among highest in EU in Q2 2012, Eurostat says

Written by on September 17, 2012 in Bulgaria, Business, Europe, News - No comments

Bulgaria saw among the highest increases in labour costs on an annual basis in the second quarter of 2012 in the European Union, according to figures released on September 17 2012 by EU statistics office Eurostat.

Among the EU member states for which data are available for the second quarter of 2012, the highest annual increases in hourly labour costs for the whole economy were registered in Romania (+7.1 per cent), Finland (+4.9 per cent), Bulgaria and Latvia (both +4.8 per cent), and the lowest in Ireland (+0.4 per cent), Spain and the Netherlands (both +0.5 per cent), Eurostat said.

Hourly labour costs in the 17-member euro zone rose by 1.6 per cent in the year up to the second quarter of 2012, compared with 1.5 per cent for the first quarter of 2012.

Across the 27 member states of the EU, the annual rise was 1.8 per cent up to the second quarter of 2012, compared with 1.4 per cent for the previous quarter.

The two main components of labour costs are wages and salaries and non-wage costs. In the euro area, wages and salaries per hour worked grew by 1.7 per cent and the non-wage component by 1.2 per cent in the year up to the second quarter of 2012, compared with 1.6 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively for the previous quarter.

In the EU27, hourly wages and salaries rose by 1.9 per cent and the non-wage component by 1.4 per cent in the year up to the second quarter of 2012, compared with 1.5 per cent and 1.6 per cent respectively for the first quarter of 2012.

Eurostat said that it should be noted that in the September 17 announcement, EU and euro area labour costs data cover for the first time the whole economy (except agriculture). EU and euro area aggregates referred previously to the business economy, while from now on, they also include data on the non-business economy.

Hourly labour costs for the business economy in the euro area rose by two per cent in the year up to the second quarter of 2012, compared with 1.6 per cent for the first quarter of 2012. In the EU27, the annual rise was 2.3 per cent up to the second quarter of 2012, compared with 1.5 per cent for the previous quarter. Hourly labour costs for the mainly non-business economy rose by 0.5 per cent in both the euro area and the EU27 in the year up to the second quarter of 2012, compared with 1.2 per cent in both zones for the first quarter of 2012.

A breakdown of the business economy by economic activity shows that in the euro area, hourly labour costs rose by 2.3 per cent in industry, by 2.1 per cent in construction and by 1.9 per cent in services in the year up to the second quarter of 2012. In the EU27, labour costs per hour grew by 2.6 per cent in industry, by 2.3 per cent in construction and by 2.2 per cent in services.

Eurostat said that among the EU member states for which data are available for the second quarter of 2012, the highest annual increases in hourly labour costs for the whole economy were registered in Romania (+7.1 per cent), Finland (+4.9 per cent), Bulgaria and Latvia (both +4.8 per cent), and the lowest in Ireland (+0.4 per cent), Spain and the Netherlands(both +0.5 per cent).

In the business economy, the highest growth rates in the year up to the second quarter 2012 were observed in Romania (+7.3 per cent) and Hungary (+6.3 per cent), and the lowest in the Netherlands (+0.3 per cent).

In the mainly non-business economy, the highest increases in the year up to the second quarter 2012 were recorded in Romania (+6.1 per cent) and the Czech Republic (+5.3 per cent), and the largest decreases in Portugal (-5.9 per cent) and the United Kingdom (-1.1 per cent).

(Photo:  Phil Kelsch/sxc.hu)

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