Eastern European countries see rapid rise in hourly labour costs

Chris Papadopoullos
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Poland’s hourly labour costs were 3.5 per cent higher last year than they were in 2014
EASTERN European countries have seen a surge in hourly labour costs, according to new figures released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Commission.

Hourly labour costs include wages as well as non-wage costs such as employers’ social contributions.

Comparing 2014 with 2013, Poland’s hourly labour costs climbed 3.5 per cent. In Romania they grew six per cent.

Lithuania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Slovakia also saw increases in excess of three per cent. Bulgaria’s remain the lowest at just €3.8 (£2.8) compared with Denmark at the other end, where hourly labour costs are €40.3.

The UK’s hourly labour costs lie below the EU average (when converted into euros). However, the UK’s wages are above the EU average with the non-wage component ensuring the UK’s competitiveness. Only 16.5 per cent of UK labour costs are non-wage. In France, the same figure is 33.1 per cent – the highest in the EU.