Bulgaria Had Lowest Hourly Labor Costs in EU in 2013
Bulgaria had the lowest hourly labor costs in the EU in 2013, yet it was the country to register the highest increase in the segment since 2008, according to Eurostat.
According to Eurostat data, in 2013 Bulgaria registered the lowest hourly labor costs among EU member states, at EUR 3.7, followed by Romania with EUR 4.6.
In 2013, average hourly labor costs in the whole economy (excluding agriculture and public administration) were estimated to be EUR 23.7 in the EU28 and EUR 28.4 in the euro area (EA17).
The highest hourly labor costs were registered in Sweden (EUR 40.1), Denmark (EUR 38.4), Belgium (EUR 38.0), Luxembourg (EUR 35.7) and France (EUR 34.3).
Within the business economy, labor costs per hour were highest in industry (EUR 24.6 in the EU28 and EUR 31.0 in the euro area), followed by services (EUR 23.9 and EUR 28.0 respectively) and construction (EUR 21.0 and EUR 24.5). In the mainly non-business economy (excluding public administration), labor costs per hour were EUR 23.2 in the EU28 and EUR 27.7 in the euro area.
Labor 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 23.7% in the EU28 and 25.9% in the euro area, varying between 8.0% in Malta and 33.3% in Sweden.
Between 2008 and 2013, hourly labor costs in the whole economy expressed in euro increased by 10.2% in the EU28 and by 10.4% in the euro area.
Within the euro area, the largest increases were recorded in Austria (+18.9%), Slovakia (+17.0%) and Finland (+15.9%). Decreases were observed in Greece (-18.6%) and Portugal (-5.1%).
For Member States outside the euro area, and expressed in national currency, the largest increases in hourly labor costs in the whole economy between 2008 and 2013 were registered in Bulgaria (+44.1%) and Romania (+32.8%), and the smallest in Croatia (+0.7%), Lithuania (+5.0%), the United Kingdom (+6.3%) and Latvia (+6.9%).
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