ECONOMY: Hourly labour costs in Cyprus increase 2.8% to EUR 16.3

Average hourly labour costs in Cyprus rose 2.8% last year to reach Euros 16.3, almost half the EU level and slightly more than Greece.

In 2018, average hourly labour costs in the whole economy (excluding agriculture and public administration) were estimated to be Euros 27.4 in the EU, Euros 30.6 in the euro area, Euros 16.3 in Cyprus (2.8% increase since 2017) and Euros 16.1 in Greece (+3.7%).

According to Eurostat, the lowest hourly labour costs were recorded in Bulgaria (Euros 5.4), Romania (Euros 6.9), Lithuania (Euros 9.0), Hungary (Euros 9.2) and Latvia (Euros 9.3). The highest were in Denmark (Euros 43.5), Luxembourg (Euros 40.6), Belgium (Euros 39.7), Sweden (Euros 36.6), the Netherlands (Euros 35.9) and France (Euros 35.8).

Hourly labour costs in industry were Euros 27.4 in the EU and Euros 33.2 in the euro area. In services, they were Euros 27.0 and Euros 29.6, respectively.

In construction, hourly labour costs were Euros 25.0 in the EU and Euros 27.6 in the euro area. In the mainly non-business economy (excluding public administration), they were Euros 28.5 and Euros 30.8, respectively. Labour costs consist of wages and salaries and non-wage costs (e.g. employers social contributions).

The share of non-wage costs in total labour costs for the whole economy was 23.7% in the EU and 25.6% in the euro area. It ranged from 6.1% in Malta to 32.6% in France.

In Cyprus, labour costs were Euros 14.4 in the business economy, Euros 13.3 in industry, Euros 14.3 in construction, Euros 14.6 in services and Euros 26.2 in the mainly non-business economy excluding the public administration. The non-wage part of the total reaches 17.3%.

In Greece, labour costs were Euros 16.1 in the business economy, Euros 16.5 in the industry, Euros 10.7 in construction, Euros 16.3 in the services and Euros 16.1 in the mainly non-business economy. The non-wage costs of the total wage reach 21.9%.

In 2018, compared with previous year, hourly labour costs in the whole economy rose by 2.7% in the EU and by 2.2% in the euro area. Within the euro area, the largest increases were recorded in Latvia (+12.9%), Lithuania (+10.4%), Estonia and Slovakia (both +6.8%).

Hourly labour costs increased least in Malta (+0.4%), Finland (+1.2%), Spain (+1.3%) and Portugal (+1.4%).

For Member States outside the euro area in 2018, the largest increases in hourly labour costs in the whole economy, expressed in national currency, were observed in Romania (+13.3%) and Hungary (+9.8%). They increased least in Denmark (+1.9%), Sweden (+2.3%) and the United Kingdom (+3.3%).

Source: The Financial Mirror