Chapter News

Labour costs in the EU

Hourly labour costs ranged from €4.1 to €41.3 across the EU Member States in 2015-Lowest in Bulgaria and Romania, highest in Denmark and Belgium

In 2015, average hourly labour costs in the whole economy (excluding agriculture and public administration) were estimated to be €25.0 in the European Union (EU) and €29.5 in the euro area. However, this average masks significant gaps between EU Member States, with the lowest hourly labour costs recorded in Bulgaria (€4.1), Romania (€5.0), Lithuania (€6.8), Latvia (€7.1) and Hungary (€7.5), and the highest in Denmark (€41.3), Belgium (€39.1), Sweden (€37.4), Luxembourg (€36.2) and France (€35.1).

In industry, labour costs per hour were €25.9 in the EU and €32.3 in the euro area, in services €24.9 and €28.6 respectively and in construction €22.4 and €25.8. In the mainly non-business economy (excluding public administration), labour costs per hour were €25.1 in the EU and €29.4 in the euro area in 2015.

Labour 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 24.0 % in the EU and 26.0% in the euro area, ranging from 6.6% in Malta to 33.2% in France.

These estimates for 2015 come from an article issued by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. Data cover enterprises with 10 or more employees and are based on the Labour Cost Survey data for 2012, which are extrapolated through the Labour Cost Index.

Full text and additional information is available on EUROSTAT website