June 15, 2018
According to figures published by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union, hourly labour costs rose by 2.0% in the euro area (EA19) and by 2.7% in the EU28 in the first quarter of 2018, compared with the same quarter of the previous year. This was higher than the increase of 1.4% and 2.3% recorded in the fourth quarter of 2017 for euro area (EA19) and EU28 respectively.
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 1.8% and the non-wage component by 2.6%, in the first quarter of 2018 compared with the same quarter of the previous year. In the fourth quarter of 2017, the annual changes were +1.6% and +0.8% respectively. In the EU28, the cost of hourly wages & salaries rose by 2.7% and the non-wage component by 2.9% in the first quarter of 2018. In the fourth quarter of 2017, annual changes were +2.4% and +1.9% respectively.
Breakdown by economic activity
In the first quarter of 2018 compared with the same quarter of the previous year, hourly labour costs in the euro area rose by 2.0% in industry, by 2.0% in construction, by 2.5% in the services and by 1.2% in the (mainly) nonbusiness economy. In the EU28, labour costs per hour grew by 3.1% in industry, by 3.6% in construction, by 2.9% in services and by 2.1% in the (mainly) non-business economy.
In the first quarter of 2018, the highest annual increases in hourly labour costs for the whole economy were registered in Romania (+12.7%), Latvia (+11.2%) and Hungary (+10.3%), while a decrease was recorded in Portugal (-1.5%).
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