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EU 27 hourly labor costs rise by 2.7%

Hourly labor costs in the EA17  rose by 2.6% in the year up to the first quarter of 2011, compared with 1.5% for the previous Q2. In the EU271, the annual rise was 2.7% up to the first quarter of 2011, compared with 1.8% for the previous Q1.

Among the Member States for which data are available for the first quarter of 2011, the highest annual increases in hourly labor costs were registered in Bulgaria (+7.8%) and Hungary (+5.6%). Annual decreases were observed in Greece (-6.8%) and Ireland (-2.2%).

The two main components of labor costs are wages and salaries and non-wage costs.

In the euro area, wages and salaries per hour worked grew by 2.3% in the year up to the first quarter of 2011, and the non-wage component by 3.6%, compared with 1.4% and 1.8% respectively for the fourth quarter of 2010.

In the EU27, hourly wages and salaries rose by 2.6% and the non-wage component by 3.5% in the year up to the first quarter of 2011, compared with 1.9% and 1.5% respectively for the fourth quarter of 2010.

The breakdown by economic activity shows that in the euro area hourly labor costs rose by 2.8% in industry and by 2.5% in both construction and services in the year up to the first quarter of 2011. In the EU27, labor costs per hour grew by 3.1% in industry, 2.3% in construction and 2.6% in services.