Copenhagen, Denmark Photo: inQuadrato
Data from Eurostat reveals that average hourly labour costs in 2014 were estimated at EUR 24.6 in the EU-28 and at EUR 29.2 in the euro area (EA-18). The difference between countries, though, varies significantly, from as high as EUR 40.3 to as low as EUR 3.8.
Bulgaria boasts the lowest hourly labour costs (EUR 3.8), followed by Romania (EUR 4.6), Lithuania (EUR 6.5) and Latvia (EUR 6.6). Denmark, on the other hand, leads the continent with an hourly pay rate of EUR 40.3, ahead of Belgium (EUR 39.1), Sweden (EUR 37.4) and Luxenbourg (EUR 35.9).
Between 2013 and 2014, hourly labour costs in the whole economy rose 1.4 per cent in the EU-28 and by 1.1 per cent in the euro area. The largest increases were recorded in Estonia (+6.6 per cent), Latvia (+6.0 per cent) and Slovakia (+5.2 per cent). Decreases were observed in Cyprus (-2.8 per cent), Portugal (-0.8 per cent) and Ireland (-0.2 per cent).