Hourly labour costs in Bulgaria up 14% in 2023, still lowest in EU

Hourly labour costs in Bulgaria in 2023 were 14 per cent higher than in 2022, but remained the lowest in the European Union, according to figures posted on March 27 by EU statistics agency Eurostat.

The average hourly labour costs mask significant gaps between EU countries, with the lowest hourly labour costs recorded in Bulgaria (9.3 euro), Romania (11 euro) and Hungary (12.8 euro) while the highest in Luxembourg (53.9 euro), Denmark (48.1 euro) and Belgium (47.1 euro). 

Hourly labour costs in industry were 32.2 euro in the EU and 38 euro in the euro zone.

In construction, they were 28.5 euro and 31.9 euro, respectively.

In services, hourly labour costs varied between 31.8 euro in the EU and 34.8 euro in the euro zone.

In the mainly non-business economy (excluding public administration), they were 32.4 euro and 35.7 euro, respectively.

The two main components of labour costs are wages and salaries and non-wage costs (e.g. employers’ social contributions).

The share of non-wage costs in total labour costs for the whole economy was 24.7 per cent in the EU and 25.5 per cent in the euro zone. The lowest shares of non-wage costs were recorded in Malta (1.4 per cent), Romania (5 per cent) and Lithuania (5.4 per cent) and the highest in Sweden (32.2 per cent) and France (31.9 per cent).

In 2023, the average hourly labour costs in the whole economy were estimated to be 31.8 euro in the EU and 35.6 euro in the euro area, up compared with 30.2 euro and 34 euro, respectively, in 2022.  

In 2023 compared with 2022, hourly labour costs at whole economy level expressed in euro rose by 5.3 per cent in the EU and by 4.8 per cent in the euro zone.

Within the euro zone, hourly labour costs increased in all countries. The largest increases were recorded in Croatia (+14.2 per cent), Lithuania (+12.4 per cent) and Estonia (+11.7 per cent).

For EU countries outside the euro zone, the hourly labour costs expressed in national currency increased in 2023 in all countries, with the largest increases recorded in Hungary (+17.0 per cent), Romania (+16.5 per cent), Bulgaria (+14 per cent) and Poland (+12.4 per cent).

They increased the least in Denmark (+2.7 per cent), Eurostat said.

(Photo: Tamer Tatlici/ freeimages.com)

Please help keep The Sofia Globe’s independent journalism alive by clicking on the button below and signing up to become a supporter on patreon.com. Becoming a patron of The Sofia Globe costs as little as three euro a month or the equivalent in other currencies.

Become a Patron!

The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to sofiaglobe.com's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage. https://www.patreon.com/user?u=32709292