18 Jun
Eurostat cost of labour hours

Hourly labour costs rose by 2.4% in the euro area (EA19) and by 2.6% in the EU28 in the first quarter of 2019

Hourly labour costs rose by 2.4% in the euro area (EA19) and by 2.6% in the EU28 in the first quarter of 2019, compared with the same quarter of the previous year. In the fourth quarter of 2018, hourly labour costs increased by 2.3% and 2.8% respectively. These figures are published 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 2.5% and the non-wage component by 2.2% in the first quarter of 2019 compared with the same quarter of the previous year. In the fourth quarter of 2018, the annual changes were +2.3% and +2.4% respectively.

In the EU28, the costs of hourly wages & salaries rose by 2.7% and the non-wage component rose by 2.1% in the first quarter of 2019. In the fourth quarter of 2018, annual changes were +3.0% and +2.3% respectively.

Breakdown by economic activity
In the first quarter of 2019 compared with the same quarter of the previous year, hourly labour costs in the euro area rose by 2.5% in industry, by 2.3% in construction, by 2.4% in services and by 2.5% in the (mainly) nonbusiness economy.

In the EU28, labour costs per hour grew by 2.4% in industry, by 2.0% in construction, by 2.5% in services, and by 2.8% in the (mainly) non-business economy.

Member States
In the first quarter of 2019, the highest annual increases in hourly labour costs for the whole economy were registered in Romania (+16.3%) and Bulgaria (+12.9%), while the only decrease was recorded in Greece (-0.2%).

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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