Bulgaria, Romania hourly labour costs increases among highest in EU

Bulgaria, Romania hourly labour costs increases among highest in EU

Hourly labour costs in the euro area rose by 2.1 per cent in the year up to the first quarter of 2010, compared with 1.7 per cent for the previous quarter, EU statistics office Eurostat said.In the EU271, the annual rise was 2.2 per cent up to the first quarter of 2010, compared with two per cent for the previous quarter.The two main components of labour costs are wages and salaries and non-wage costs. In the euro area, wages and salaries per hour worked grew by two per cent in the year up to the first quarter of 2010, and the non-wage component by 2.1 per cent, compared with 1.6 per cent and two per cent, respectively, for the fourth quarter of 2009.In the EU27, hourly wages and salaries rose by 2.3 per cent and the non-wage component by 1.9 per cent in the year up to the first quarter of 2010, compared with 1.9 per cent and 2.5 per cent, respectively, for the previous quarter.The breakdown by economic activity shows that in the euro area hourly labour costs rose by 1.8 per cent in industry, 2.1 per cent in construction and 2.2 per cent in services in the year up to the first quarter of 2010.In the EU27, labour costs per hour grew by 1.8 per cent in industry, 1.4 per cent in construction and 2.5 per cent in services.Among the EU member states for which data are available for the first quarter of 2010, the highest annual increases in hourly labour costs were registered in Bulgaria (+10.5 per cent) and Romania (+7.4 per cent), Eurostat said.The highest annual decreases were observed in Lithuania (-11 per cent), Latvia (-7.2 per cent), Estonia (-5.5 per cent) and the Czech Republic (-3.1 per cent).

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