Last year, hourly labour costs rose by an average of 3.1% in the EU and by 2.9% in the euro area.
Among the non-euro area countries, the highest increases in hourly labour costs expressed in the national currency were observed in Hungary (+7.9%), Bulgaria (+7.8%), the Czech Republic (+7.4%) and Romania (+7.2%). The lowest increases were registered in Sweden (+1.1%) and Denmark (+2.0%).
Croatia was the only non-euro area country to see a drop in hourly labour costs (-1.0%).
Among the euro area member states, the highest increases in hourly labour costs were reported in Portugal (+8.6%), Lithuania (+7.5%) and Slovakia (7.0%). The lowest increases were observed in Luxembourg (+0.5%), Finland (+0.7%) and the Netherlands (+0.8%). Decreases were registered only in Malta (-4.7%), Cyprus (-2.7%) and Ireland (-2.7%).
Last year, the average hourly labour cost was €28.5 in the EU and €32.3 in the euro area, compared to €27.7 and €31.4 respectively in 2019.
The differences among the countries were huge, with the hourly labour costs in Bulgaria being seven times lower than those in Luxembourg.
The lowest hourly labour costs in the EU were recorded in Bulgaria (€6.5), Romania (€8) and Hungary (€9.9). They were followed by Lithuania (€10.1), Latvia (€10.5), Croatia (€10.8) and Poland (€11).
Among the euro area countries, the lowest hourly labour costs were registered in Slovakia (€13.4), Estonia (€13.6) and Portugal (€15.3). In Slovenia and Spain these costs were around €20, while in Germany, the Netherlands and Austria they ranged between €30 and €40. The highest hourly labour costs were reported in Denmark (€45.8), Luxembourg (€42.1) and Belgium (€41.4).
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