Hourly labour cost: €3.7 for the poor €39 for the rich EU member states

Posted by in Economy

Hourly labor cost in Greece decreased by -11.2% while in all other member counties of the EU and the eurozone, including bailout-hit Portugal and Ireland increased. This conclusion comes from the data collected and released by the Eurostat on April 10, 2013 for the years 2008-2012.

Odd enough, hourly labor cost for Greece is not recorded in the graph but just its decrease.

With the minimum wage to have gone down to 580 euro gross – and 510 euro for those below 25 years old – in 2012, I can assure you, that the hourly labor cost is less than 3 euro. Not to mention the many employees who work without insurance, decreasing the hourly labour cost even more.

Also worth mentioning is that while salaries decreased, taxes disproportionally increased in the laboratory of the IMF and EU that are keen to turn Greece into a so-called “competitive country”. Three years after the first loan agreement, no serious investment, no serious privatization and no serious growth and development plans have been seen around.

Eurostat report

In 2012, average hourly labour costs in the whole economy(excluding agriculture and public administration) were estimated to be €23.4 in the EU27and €28.0 in the euro area.

However, this average masks significant differences between EU Member States, with hourly labour costs ranging from €3.7 in Bulgaria, €4.4 in Romania €5.8 in Lithuania and €6.0 in Latvia, to €39.0 in Sweden, €38.1 in Denmark, €37.2 in Belgium, €34.6 in Luxembourg and €34.2 in France.

When comparing labour cost estimates in euro over time, it should be noted that data for those Member States outside the euro area are influenced by exchange rate movements.

Wthin the business economy, labour costs per hour were highest in industry (€24.2 in the EU27 and €30.3 in the euro area), followed by services (€23.7 and €27.6 respectively) and construction (€21.0 and €24.3). In the mainly non-business economy (excluding public administration), labour costs per hour were €22.9 in the EU27 and €27.2 in the euro area.

Labour costs are made up of wages & salaries and non-wage costs such as employers’ social contributions. The hare of non-wage costs in the whole economy was 23.7% in the EU27 and 26.1% in the euro area, varying between 8.2% in Malta and 33.6% in France.

Growth in labour costs

Beween 2008 and 2012, hourly labour costs in the whole economy expressed in euro have risen by 8.6% in the EU27 and by 8.7% in the euro area.

Within the euro area, the largest increases were recorded in Austria (+15.5%), Slovakia (+13.8%), Finland (+13.7%) and Belgium (+13.1%), and the smallest in Portugal (+0.4%) and Ireland (+0.8%). The only decrease was observed in Greece (-11.2%).

Full report in PDF here

PS Oh, Yes, unification of the several EU and EZ economies are urgently needed here :)