Bulgaria and Romania post lowest hourly labour costs in EU in 2016

Hourly labour costs ranged from 4.4 euros to 42.0 euros across the EU member states in 2016, having been the lowest in Bulgaria and Romania - 4.4 euros and 5.5 euros, respectively - and the highest in Denmark and Belgium - 42.0 euros and 39.2 euros, respectively - according to date released on Thursday by the Eurostat statistics office of the EU.

Developments in hourly labour costs in Romania has been inconsistent, from 1.9 euros in 2014, to 4.2 euros in 2008 and 4.1 euros in 2012, going up to 4.6 euros in 2014, to 4.9 euros in 2015 and to 5.5 euros in 2016. Throughout these years, Romania and Bulgaria kept recording the lowest such costs in the EU.

A breakdown by economic activity of the hourly labour costs in the EU shows 26.6 euros in industry; 25.8 euros in services, and 23.3 euros in construction. In Romania's case, the costs were 5.1 euros in industry, 6.0 euros in services and 4.3 euros in construction.

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 23.9 percent and 19.9 percent in Romania

The average hourly labour costs exclude agriculture and public administration. 

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