Labour costs up by 3.8 percent in the Eurozone

In the fourth quarter 2008 hourly labour costs increased by 3.8% (nominally) in the Eurozone as compared to the fourth quarter in 2007. This increase is much smaller than in the third quarter (+4.2 %). In the EU27 the annual growth rate of labour costs amounted to 4.6 % in the fourth quarter following +4.2% in the third quarter. Wages and salaries increased by 3.9 % in the Eurozone in the fourth quarter, and ancillary wage costs by 3.6 %. In the third quarter last year the respective changes had been +4.2 % and +4.3 %.

In the EU27 wages and salaries increased by 4.7% in the fourth quarter last year as compared to the fourth quarter in 2007. Ancillary wage costs grew by 4.2 %. The respective figures for the third quarter 2008 were +4.3 % and +4.1 %.

Among those member states which made data available labour costs grew least in Malta (+0.4 %). Those countries where labour costs increased most were Romania (+21.5 %), Bulgaria (+17.9 %) and Latvia (+17.2 %). The above figures were published by the European Statistical Office (Eurostat). GERMAN