(30 March 2015) – In 2014, average hourly labour costs were estimated to be €24.6 in the European Union and €29.2 in the euro area. However, this average masks significant gaps between EU Member States.
The lowest hourly labour costs were recorded in Bulgaria (€3.8), Romania (€4.6), Lithuania (€6.5) and Latvia (€6.6) and the highest in Denmark (€40.3), Belgium (€39.1), Sweden (€37.4) and Luxembourg (€35.9).
Between 2013 and 2014, hourly labour costs in the whole economy expressed in euro rose by 1.4% in the EU and by 1.1% in the euro area. Within the euro area, the largest increases were recorded in Estonia (+6.6%), Latvia (+6.0%) and Slovakia (+5.2%). Decreases were observed in Cyprus (-2.8%), Portugal (-0.8%) and Ireland (-0.2%).
For Member States outside the euro area in 2014, and expressed in national currency, the largest increases in hourly labour costs in the whole economy between 2013 and 2014 were registered in Romania (+6.0%), Lithuania and Poland (both +3.5%) and Hungary (+3.3%), and the smallest in Denmark (+0.9%) and the United Kingdom (+1.3%). A decrease was recorded in Croatia (-0.8%).