14 Sep

Eurostat: Annual growth in labour costs at 2.2% in euro area

Hourly labour costs rose by 2.2% in the euro area (EA19) and by 2.6% in the EU28 in the second quarter of 2018, compared with the same quarter of the previous year. In the first quarter of 2018, hourly labour costs increased by 2.1% and 2.8% respectively. These figures have been published today, September 14, 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 1.9% and the non-wage component by 2.9% in the second quarter of 2018 compared with the same quarter of the previous year. In the first quarter of 2018, the annual changes were +1.8% and +2.8% respectively. In the EU28, both the costs of hourly wages & salaries and the non-wage component rose by 2.6% in the second quarter of 2018. In the first quarter of 2018, annual changes were +2.7% and +3.1% respectively.

Member States

In the second quarter of 2018, the highest annual increases in hourly labour costs for the whole economy were registered in Romania (+15.6%), Latvia (+11.7%) and Hungary (+10.2%), while the lowest annual increases in hourly labour costs were recorded in Luxembourg (+0.6%), Spain (+0.7%) and the Netherlands (+0.9%).

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, the Czech Republic, 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.

Concepts

Wage and salary costs (WAG) include direct remuneration, bonuses, and allowances paid by an employer in cash or in kind to an employee in return for work done, payments to employees saving schemes, payments for days not worked and remuneration in kind such as food, drink, fuel, company cars, etc.

Labour costs other than wages and salaries (OTH – non-wage costs) include the employers’ social contributions plus employment taxes regarded as labour costs less subsidies intended to refund part or all of the employer’s cost of direct remuneration. Eurostat publishes Labour Cost Index data for NACE Rev. 2 sections B to S. The aggregate is referred to as “Whole economy” for the sake of simplification, even if agriculture, activities of households as employers and activities of extraterritorial organisations are excluded.

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