Labour costs up 2.1% in 2017

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MIL OSI – Source: Destatis Statistisches Bundesamt – In English –

Headline: Labour costs up 2.1% in 2017

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Labour costs per hour worked, 4th quarter of 2017• +0.4% on the previous quarter (seasonally and calendar adjusted)• +1.5% on the same quarter a year earlier (calendar adjusted)

WIESBADEN – In Germany, labour costs per hour worked rose by 2.1% in 2017 on a calendar adjusted basis, compared with a year earlier. The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) also reports that the costs of gross earnings increased by 2.2%, while non-wage costs were up 1.8%.

Compared with the 4th quarter of 2016, labour costs in the 4th quarter of 2017 rose by 1.5% in calendar adjusted terms. This figure is comparably low since fewer staff members were on sick leave than in the same quarter a year earlier, which resulted in a higher number of hours worked. The total increase in labour costs per hour worked was smaller as a consequence. Compared with the previous quarter, the seasonally and calendar adjusted increase was 0.4%.

Rates of labour cost change are available for all European Union (EU) Member States for the third quarter of 2017. According to those results, the price of one hour worked in Germany rose by 2.2% in calendar adjusted terms on the same quarter of the previous year. In the entire EU, the increase in labour costs averaged 2.1% in that period. The highest growth rates within the EU were recorded in Romania (+16.5%), Hungary (+12.6%) and Bulgaria (+10.7%). Labour costs declined in Finland (–3.0%) and Portugal (–1.1%). In France, the increase in labour costs (+1.7%) was considerably lower than in Germany. The annual increase of labour costs in Germany (2016=2.8%) has been above EU average (2016=1.8%) for six consecutive years already and higher than in France (2016=1.5%) for five years in a row.

The rates of labour cost change in countries outside the euro area are measured in the relevant national currency and, consequently, are not currency adjusted.
Labour cost indices for industry and the service sector in Germany Year, quarter Index of labourcosts, totalIndex of grossearningsIndex ofnon-wage costs 1 Calendar-adjusted, Census X-12-ARIMA 2 Calendar and seasonally adjusted, Census X-12-ARIMAChange on the previous year in % 120082.63.10.820092.72.53.520101.30.73.320112.72.82.620123.03.32.020131.51.51.620142.12.02.320153.13.03.420162.82.34.220172.12.21.8Change on the same quarter a year earlier in % 120151st quarter3.12.84.02nd quarter3.23.52.13rd quarter2.92.83.04th quarter3.12.64.720161st quarter3.33.13.92nd quarter2.21.35.33rd quarter2.52.23.34th quarter3.12.84.020171st quarter2.61.94.62nd quarter2.43.00.43rd quarter2.22.22.44th quarter1.51.90.1Change on the previous quarter in % 220151st quarter0.90.90.92nd quarter1.11.10.83rd quarter0.50.21.54th quarter0.60.41.320161st quarter1.01.30.12nd quarter0.1–0.62.53rd quarter0.71.1–0.54th quarter1.21.01.720171st quarter0.40.30.72nd quarter0.10.6–1.53rd quarter0.50.31.54th quarter0.40.7–0.7EU-wide comparison of labour costsChange in industry and the service sectorStatus of calculations: 3nd quarter of 2017Index of labour costs, totalIndex of labourcosts, totalIndex of grossearningsIndex ofnon-wage costsChange in 3nd quarter of 2017 on 3nd quarter of 2016 1  in % 1 Calendar adjusted applying national methods.

Source: Eurostat Online Database of 5 March 2018 and calculations by Destatis based on the Eurostat Online Database.– not available
European Union 2.12.12.3Euro currency area 1.61.61.5Belgium1.31.9– 0.3Bulgaria10.710.611.1Denmark2.12.02.5Germany2.22.22.4Estonia8.68.78.4Finland–3.0–1.8–7.8France1.72.10.9Greece0.8––Ireland2.32.60.0Italy0.50.30.9Croatia4.94.95.1Latvia5.25.44.6Lithuania7.97.29.7Luxembourg2.74.0–8.2Malta1.61.52.9Netherlands1.91.63.1Austria1.81.82.1Poland4.84.84.9Portugal–1.1–1.2–0.6Romania16.516.516.6Sweden1.81.91.7Slovakia7.37.27.4Slovenia6.86.39.6Spain0.10.10.2Czech Republic6.96.97.0Hungary12.612.911.3United Kingdom3.12.66.0Cyprus1.31.40.9Methodological notesThe rates of labour cost change are based on the results of the labour cost index. The latter measures the change in labour costs and additionally provides a breakdown of labour costs into their two components, namely gross earnings and non-wage costs. In all three indices, the costs borne by employers are compared with the hours actually worked by employees.

Revisions in the data sources used for calculating the labour cost index led to adjustments of the growth rates of the labour cost index for the quarterly figures of reference year 2017. For instance, the calendar adjusted year-on-year rate of increase in the labour cost index rose from +2.3% to +2.4% for the second quarter of 2017.

Detailed data and time series relating to the labour cost indices by branches of economic activity can be called up free of charge via table 62421-0001 in the GENESIS-Online database.

Data for European comparisons are available under Europe in Figures.

For further information:Walter Engel,tel: +49 (0) 611 / 75 26 89, contact form
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