Labour costs increased by 2.4 percent in Eurozone

According to Eurostat labour costs in the Eurozone and the EU25 have been increasing less rapidly recently. In real terms labour costs per hour have increased by 2.4% on an annual basis in the fourth quarter of 2006 in the Eurozone (EZ12), whereas in the third quarter 2006 these costs had increased by 2.5%. In the EU25 the annual increase in labour costs for the fourth quarter of 2006 was 2.7% after an increase by 3.0% in the previous quarter.

The two main components of labour costs are wages and salaries on the one hand and add-on costs on the other. Wages and salaries in the Eurozone increased by 2.5% on an annual basis in the fourth quarter of 2006, whereas the increase in add-on costs was 2.2%. In the third quarter of 2006 these two components rose by 2.7% and 2.2% respectively. In the EU25 the corresponding increases were 2.8%, 2.3%, 3.2% and 2.0% respectively.

If grouped by economic sector, hourly labour costs in the Eurozone increased most in industry (2.2%), construction industry (2.6%) and the service sector (2.5%) in the fourth quarter of 2006. In the EU25 labour cost in industry rose by 2.5% and by 2.8% in the building and service industry. GERMAN