Labour costs in 2012

Latest Eurostat labour costs statistics are out. The first figure shows the regional variation of hourly labour costs expressed in euros in 2012.

Most – though not all – Western European regions have average hourly costs superior to 30 Euros while Eastern European regions (including parts of Eastern Germany) all have less than 10 Euros average hourly costs. In between those two groups lie parts of Spain and parts of the UK, as well as Portugal, with between 10 and 20 Euros average hourly costs.


The second figure shows national differences in hourly costs expressed in Euros as well as adjusted for purchasing power (i.e. differences in cost of living in different countries). Not surprisingly, the variation in purchasing power terms is lower but does not erase cross-national differences.

It’s also interesting to note that the UK – where the immigration debate is currently heavily skewed against immigration – average hourly labour costs adjusted are lower than than the EU28 average.