March 22, 2022
According to the statistical office of the European Union (Eurostat), euro area hourly labour cost increased by 1.9% during the fourth quarter of 2021, while EU hourly labour cost increased by 2.3% when compared to the same quarter of the previous year.
The two main components used to determine labour costs are wages & salaries and non-wages costs. The Eurostat noted, in the euro area, the cost of wages & salaries per hour worked increased by 1.5% and the non-wage component by 3.4% in the fourth quarter of 2021, compared to the corresponding quarter last year. Also in the EU, the costs of hourly wages & salaries went up by 2.0% and the non-wage component rose by 3.6% in the fourth quarter of 2021, compared to 2020 fourth quarter.
Breakdown by economic activity
Hourly labour costs in the euro area increased by 1.4$ in the (main) non-business economy and by 2.1% in the business economy: 1.5% in industry, 2.1% in construction and 2.4% in services when compared to the same quarter in the previous year. While, in the EU, hourly labour cost increased by 1.6% in the (mainly) non-business economy and by 2.6% in the business economy: 2.1% in industry, 2.5% in construction and 2.9% in services.
In comparison to the fourth quarter of 2021 the economic activities that recorded the highest increases in hourly wage costs were: NACE Rev. 2 section J – ‘Information and communication’ (+3.9%), B – ‘Mining and quarrying (+3.1%), H – ‘Transportation and storage (+2.9%) and N – ‘Administrative and support service activities (+2.8%).
By contrast, two economic activities recorded a decrease in hourly wage costs, namely: NACE Rev. 2 section I – ‘Accommodation and food service activities (-2.1%) and R – ‘Arts, entertainment and recreation (-3.6%). Those economic activities also recorded the biggest increases in the non-wage component (+31.8% for section I and +18.3% for section R).
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