14 Dec

Annual growth in labour costs at 2.5% in euro area and at 2.7% in EU28 (Eurostat figures)

Hourly labour costs rose by 2.5% in the euro area (EA19) and by 2.7% in the EU28 in the third quarter of 2018, compared with the same quarter of the previous year. In the second quarter of 2018, hourly labour costs increased by 2.3% and 2.7% respectively. These figures have been published today, 14 December, by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

The two main components of labour costs are wages & salaries and non-wage costs. In the euro area, the cost of wages & salaries per hour worked grew by 2.4% and the non-wage component by 3.0% in the third quarter of 2018 compared with the same quarter of the previous year. In the second quarter of 2018, the annual changes were +2.1% and +3.0% respectively.

In the EU28, the costs of hourly wages & salaries rose by 2.7% and the non-wage component rose by 2.4% in the third quarter of 2018. In the second quarter of 2018, annual changes were +2.8% and +2.7% respectively.

Breakdown by economic activity

In the third quarter of 2018 compared with the same quarter of the previous year, hourly labour costs in the euro area rose by 2.2% in industry, by 2.9% in construction and in services and by 2.1% in the (mainly) non-business economy. In the EU28, labour costs per hour grew by 2.6% in industry, by 3.3% in construction, by 2.8% in services and by 2.4% in the (mainly) non-business economy.

In the third quarter of 2018, the highest annual increases in hourly labour costs for the whole economy were registered in Romania (+13.9%), Latvia (+13.2%) and Lithuania (+10.7%), while the lowest annual increases in hourly labour costs were recorded in Belgium (+1.2%), Portugal (+1.5%), Malta and Finland (both at +1.6%).

Geographical information

The euro area (EA19) includes Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland.

The European Union (EU28) includes Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

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