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Press release 125 / 2017-04-11: Comparison of 2016 labour costs between EU countries: Germany ranks seventh

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

WIESBADEN – Employers in the German industry and the support services sector paid an average of 33.40 euros per hour worked in 2016. The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) also reports that Germany ranked seventh within the European Union (EU) in terms of the labour cost level. Compared with the EU average of 25.70 euros, German employers paid 30% more per hour worked. However, compared with our neighbouring country France (36.30 euros), for example, it was nearly 8% less. Denmark had the highest labour costs per hour worked (43.40 euros), Bulgaria the lowest (4.40 euros). 

As regards manufacturing, which is particularly subject to international competition, the price of one hour worked in Germany averaged 38.70 euros in 2016. Here, Germany ranked fourth among the EU countries. The price of one hour worked in the German industry was 47% higher than the EU average (26.40 euros) and nearly 3% above the relevant price in France (37.60 euros). Regarding market services, labour costs amounted to 30.50 euros per hour worked. In this respect, Germany ranked ninth in Europe (19% above the EU average and 16% below the costs in France). 

Labour costs consist of gross earnings and non-wage costs. In 2016, employers in the German industry and the support services 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 (14th position). The highest non-wage costs per 100 euros of wage were paid in Sweden (49 euros), France (47 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 2016, euros
Status of calculations: 4th quarter of 2016
European Union
Member States
(in a descending order
by the labour cost level in
industry and the support
services sector)
Industry and the support
services sector
Including
ManufacturingMarket services
EURChange on 2015
in % 1
EURRankEURRank

1 The rates of change are calendar adjusted and have been calculated in the relevant national currency.
2 The figures for Netherlands are based on the first three quarters 2016.

Source: own calculations on the basis of Eurostat data of 29 March 2017.

European Union (EU 28)25.701.626.4025.70
Euro currency area (EU 19)30.001.332.2028.70
Denmark43.401.943.40144.001
Belgium41.200.143.30240.602
Sweden40.903.341.90340.403
Luxembourg36.500.931.101039.604
France36.301.637.60536.105
Finland33.700.737.00632.007
Germany33.402.538.70430.509
Netherlands33.400.935.10 2832.30 26
Austria32.900.835.50731.508
Ireland29.201.631.30928.1010
Italy27.00–0.727.301126.9011
United Kingdom26.101.525.401225.9012
Spain21.100.122.801320.4013
Slovenia16.001.815.901416.6014
Cyprus15.701.012.901616.3015
Greece13.90–1.514.601513.8017
Portugal13.10–0.111.301814.3016
Malta12.50–1.812.601712.8018
Estonia11.305.410.601911.5019
Slovenia10.702.810.601910.7020
Czech Republic10.402.810.102110.7020
Croatia8.70–9.67.60249.3022
Poland8.404.17.70238.5024
Hungary8.404.98.20228.6023
Latvia8.007.67.10258.3025
Lithuania7.508.47.10257.7026
Romania5.4010.64.70275.8027
Bulgaria4.407.83.70284.7028

 

Non-wage costs in relation to gross earnings
in industry and the support services sector in 2016 
European Union
Member States
Employers paid an additional x euros of non-wage
costs per 100 euros of gross earnings
EURRank
Source: own calculations on the basis of Eurostat data of 29 March 2017.
European Union (EU 28)31
Euro currency area (EU 19)34
Sweden491
France472
Belgium443
Lithuania404
Greece395
Czech Republic376
Italy377
Estonia368
Austria369
Slovakia3610
Spain3511
Netherlands3012
Hungary2913
Germany2814
Portugal2715
Finland2716
Latvia2617
Romania2518
Poland2219
Cyprus2020
Slovenia1921
United Kingdom1922
Bulgaria1823
Ireland1824
Kroatia1825
Denmark1626
Luxembourg1627
Malta928

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 under "Europe in Figures".

For further information:
Ralf Droßard,
tel: +49 (0) 611 / 75 42 36,
contact form

© Statistisches Bundesamt (Destatis), 2017

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