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Are the low labour costs our only advantage?

Federal Statistical Office in Germany analysed hourly rates for work in EU countries.

In 28 EU countries, employers in the sector of private companies paid in average 24.4 euro per working hour (1.4% year-on-year increase), whereas in 18 Eurozone countries, the average hourly wage reached 29.2 euro/h (+1.2%).

The highest hourly rates were paid to employees in: Denmark (42 euro/h), Belgium (41.1 euro/h) and Sweden (40.2 euro/h). The following countries offered the average wages higher than Germany (24.4 euro/h): Luxembourg, France, the Netherlands and Finland.

In the last year, the lowest hourly wages in the EU were paid in: Bulgaria (3.8 euro/h), Romania (4.8 euro/h), Lithuania (6.6 euro/h), Latvia (7 euro/h), Hungary (7,8 euro/h) and Poland (8.2 euro/h).

Similar diversification of average hourly rates was observed in the EU countries in the industrial sectors. With the average hourly rate of 25.3 euro/h (calculated for 28 EU countries), the highest wages were recorded in: Belgium (43.2 euro/h), Denmark (41.6 euro/h), Sweden (41.4 euro/h) and Germany (37 euro/h).

The lowest hourly rates were paid in: Bulgaria (3.2 euro/h), Romania (4.2 euro/h), Latvia and Lithuania (6.1 euro/h) and in Poland (6.4 euro/h).

The total labour costs consist of gross wages and non-wage costs. For every 100 euro paid as the basic salary, the highest non-wage costs were paid by employers from the private sector in France (47 euro), followed by Finland (46 euro), Belgium (44 euro), Lithuania (41 euro) and Italy (39 euro). These non-wage costs were also high in: the Czech Republic (37 euro), Estonia, Austria and Slovakia (36 euro). In Poland, the employers had to pay 23 euro for every 100 euro paid to employees, whereas the lowest costs were recorded in: Malta (9 euro), Denmark (15 euro) and Luxembourg (16 euro).

The main component of non-wage costs are social security contributions and the costs of pension and health programs.

4 May 2015