Belgium has the second highest hourly labour costs in Europe, 39.6 euros in 2017 as against 39.2 euros in the previous year, the European statistical office, Eurostat, reported on Monday. Denmark topped the list with 42.5 euros, way above the European averages of 26.8 euros per hour for the whole of the European Union (EU)and 30 euros for euro-zone countries.
Hourly labour costs registered in 2017 in all sectors (except agriculture and public administration) again showed huge disparities between EU member states. They amounted to just 4.0 euros in Bulgaria, 6.3 euros in Rumania and 9.4 euros in Poland, as against 36 euros in France and 36.6 euros in Sweden.
Labour costs increased by 1.3% between 2016 and 2017 in Belgium, while the average increase for the EU as a whole was 2.3% and for euro zone countries 1.9%. The highest increases were in Rumania (+17.1%), Bulgaria (+12), Lithuania (+9%) and Estonia (+7.4%). The only drop was in Finland (-1.5%).
Labour costs include salaries and fringe benefits plus non-wage costs such as social security contributions paid by employers.