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Press release 160 / 2015-05-04: Labour cost comparison across EU countries for 2014: Germany ranking eighth

Labour cost in the private sector per hour worked in EUREnlarge picture

WIESBADEN – Employers in the German private sector paid an average 31.80 euros per hour worked in 2014. The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) also reports that, in terms of the labour cost level, Germany ranked eighth within the European Union (EU) in that year. Compared with the EU average, employers in the German private sector paid 30% more per hour worked. However, compared with our neighbouring country France (35.20 euros), for example, it was nearly 10% less. Denmark had the highest labour costs per hour worked (42.00 euros), Bulgaria the lowest (3.80 euros). 

As regards manufacturing, which is particularly subject to international competition, the price of one hour worked in Germany amounted to an average 37.00 euros in 2014. Here, Germany ranked fourth among the EU countries. The price of one hour worked in the German industry was 46% higher than the EU average (25.30 euros) and nearly 2% above the relevant price in France (36.40 euros). 

Labour costs consist of gross earnings and non-wage costs. In 2014, employers in the German private sector paid an additional 28 euros of non-wage costs per 100 euros of gross earnings. This means that non-wage costs in Germany were below the EU average of 31 euros. Among the EU countries, Germany ranked in the middle (15th position). The highest non-wage costs per 100 euros of wage were paid in France (47 euros), Sweden (46 euros) and Belgium (44 euros), the lowest in Malta (9 euros). The main component of non-wage costs is the employers’ social contributions, that is, especially the employers’ statutory social security contributions, expenditure on employee pension schemes and expenditure on continued pay in case of sickness. 

 

Labour costs per hour worked in 2014, in euros
Status of calculations: 4th quarter of 2014
European Union Member States
(in a descending order by the labour cost level in the private sector)
Private sectorManufacturing
EURChange on 2013
in % 1
EURRank
1 The rates of change are calendar adjusted and have been calculated in the relevant national currency.
2 The figures for Croatia are based on the first two quarters of 2014.
Source: own calculations on the basis of Eurostat data of 23 April 2015
European Union (EU 28)24.401.425.30
Euro currency area (EU 18)29.201.231.70
Denmark42.001.541.602
Belgium41.100.943.201
Sweden40.203.041.403
Luxembourg35.702.631.409
France35.200.936.405
Netherlands33.501.335.906
Finland32.901.435.807
Germany31.801.637.004
Austria31.703.134.308
Ireland28.400.430.9010
Italy27.400.627.6011
United Kingdom22.201.722.1013
Spain21.000.122.8012
Cyprus15.70–3.013.1016
Slovenia15.502.415.3014
Greece14.40–0.814.7015
Portugal12.60–1.010.6018
Malta11.800.611.4017
Estonia10.206.29.4020
Slovakia10.005.19.8019
Czech Republic9.602.19.3021
Croatia9.30–0.7 28.1022
Poland8.204.27.4024
Hungary7.803.57.5023
Latvia7.005.96.1025
Lithuania6.604.66.1025
Romania4.806.84.2027
Bulgaria3.802.83.2028

 

Non-wage costs in relation to gross earnings
in the private sector in 2014 
European Union Member StatesEmployers paid an additional x euros
of non-wage costs
per 100 euros of gross earnings
EUR
1 The figures for Greece and Croatia refer to three and two quarters, respectively, of the reference year 2014.
Source: own calculations on the basis of Eurostat data of 23 April 2015
European Union (EU 28)31
Euro currency area (EU 18)35
France47
Sweden46
Belgium44
Lithuania41
Italy39
Czech Republic37
Estonia36
Austria36
Slovakia36
Spain36
Netherlands33
Hungary30
Romania30
Greece 130
Germany28
Finland27
Portugal27
Latvia25
Poland23
Cyprus20
Bulgaria19
United Kingdom19
Ireland18
Croatia 118
Slovenia18
Luxembourg16
Denmark15
Malta9

Time series on labour costs in Germany in a breakdown by economic branch are available in the GENESIS-Online database under the search word “Jahresschätzung Arbeitskosten”. Further official EU statistics are available from the EDS European Data Service.

For further information:
Ralf Droßard,
tel: +49 611 75 4236,
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