Estonia records EU’s steepest increase in labour costs

The steepest increases in average hourly labour costs in the third quarter of 2014 was registered in Estonia – 6.3%, followed by Slovakia – 5.7%, Latvia, as well as Greece and Romania – by 5.2% each.

In Lithuania, hourly labour costs increased by 3%, the seventh largest increase.

Contraction of average hourly labour costs was registered in Cyprus – 2.8%, Ireland – 0.8%, and Croatia – 0.3%.

Overall, average hourly labour costs increased 1.4% in the EU and 1.3% in the euro zone in the third quarter of 2014.

In the third quarter of this year, nominal hourly labour costs increased by 3%. Hourly labour costs rose by 1.3% in the euro area (EA18) and by 1.4% in the EU282 in the third quarter of 2014, compared with the same quarter of the previous year. In the second quarter of 20143, hourly labour costs increased by 1.4% in both zones.

The two main components of labour costs are wages & salaries and non-wage costs. In the euro area, wages & salaries per hour worked grew by 1.4%, and the non-wage component by 1.2%, in the third quarter of 2014compared with the same quarter of the previous year. In the second quarter of 2014, the annual changes were+1.4% and +1.3% respectively. In the EU28, hourly wages & salaries rose by 1.4% and the non-wage component by 1.5% for the third quarter of 2014, compared with +1.4% for both components for the second quarter of 2014.

In the third quarter of 2014 compared with the same quarter of the previous year, hourly labour costs in the euro area rose by 1.7% in industry, by 1.0% in both construction and services and by 1.5% in the (mainly) non-business economy. In the EU28, labour costs per hour grew by 2.1% in industry, by 1.2% in both construction and services and by 1.3% in the (mainly) non-business economy.

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