According to figures from Eurostat (European office of statistics) on Monday, the hourly cost of labour in industry across Belgium was the highest in Europe last year. If the overall economy (excluding agriculture and administration) is taken into consideration, Denmark comes out on top with the highest hourly labour cost, with Belgium hot on its heels.
The average hourly cost for the economy as a whole was 24.6 euros in Europe compared to 29.2 euros in Eurozone countries. These figures do, however, hide the substantial disparities between Member States: the hourly cost in Denmark is 40.3 euros, 39.1 euros in Belgium and 37.4 euros in Sweden. Yet it is only 3.8 euros in Bulgaria, 4.6 euros in Romania and 6.5 euros in Lithuania.
The average of 44.1 euros an hour put Belgium at the top of the European labour-cost list in 2014, with Denmark (42.1 euros) and Sweden (41.8) following closely behind.