Bulgaria has lowest hourly labour costs in EU – Eurostat

Written by on April 1, 2016 in Business - Comments Off on Bulgaria has lowest hourly labour costs in EU – Eurostat
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Bulgaria had the lowest hourly labour costs in the European Union in 2015, though among EU countries outside the euro zone, it had the second-highest annual increase in hourly labour costs.

This emerges from statistics released on April 1 2016 by EU statistics agency Eurostat.

In 2015, the average hourly labour cost in Bulgaria was 4.1 euro. This was seven per cent higher than the figure for Bulgaria for 2014, according to Eurostat.

In 2015, average hourly labour costs in the whole economy (excluding agriculture and public administration) were estimated to be 25 euro in the EU and 29.5 euro in the euro zone.

However, this average masks significant gaps between EU member states, with the lowest hourly labour costs recorded in Bulgaria, Romania (five euro), Lithuania (6.8 euro), Latvia (7.1 euro) and Hungary (7.5 euro), and the highest in Denmark (41.3 euro), Belgium (39.1 euro), Sweden (37.4 euro), Luxembourg (36.2 euro) and France (35.1 euro).

In industry, labour costs per hour were 25.9 euro in the EU and 32.3 euro in the euro area, in services 24.9 euro and 28.6 euro, respectively, and in construction 22.4 euro and 25.8 euro.

In the mainly non-business economy (excluding public administration), labour costs per hour were 25.1 euro in the EU and 29.4 euro in the euro area in 2015. Labour costs are made up of wages and salaries and non-wage costs such as employers’ social contributions. The share of non-wage costs in the whole economy was 24 per cent in the EU and 26 per cent in the euro area, ranging from 6.6 per cent in Malta to 33.2 per cent in France.

Between 2014 and 2015, hourly labour costs in the whole economy expressed in euro rose by two per cent in the EU and by 1.5 per cent in the euro zone.

Within the euro zone, the largest increases were recorded in Latvia (7.3 per cent), Lithuania (5.6 per cent) and Estonia (5.3 per cent).

Decreases were observed in Cyprus (-one per cent) and Italy (-0.5 per cent).

Among EU countries outside the euro zone in 2015, and expressed in national currency, the largest increases in hourly labour costs in the whole economy between 2014 and 2015 were registered in Romania (8.3 per cent) and Bulgaria (seven per cent), and the smallest in Denmark and Croatia (both 1.7 per cent).

labour costs

Eurostat said that, when comparing labour cost estimates in euro over time, it should be noted that data for EU countries outside the euro area are influenced by exchange rate movements.

(Photo: Carlos Paes/sxc.hu)

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