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Labor Cost in Greece Drops Dramatically

ergatesIn the last four years, the labor cost per hour in Greece dropped by 11.2 percent according to data Eurostat published on April 10.
According to Eurostat, Greece is the only country in the Eurozone where the cost of the workday declined in the years 2008-2012.
More precisely, in 2008, the labor cost per hour in Greece was 16.7 euros, in 2010 it rose to 17.1 euros, and in 2012 it dropped to 14.8 euros per hour. Based on this data, Greece ranks fifth on the list of the countries with the lowest labor cost per hour for 2012.
Slovakia has the lowest labor cost in the Eurozone for 2012 (8.3 €/h). Estonia follows with 8.4 €/h, Portugal with 12.2 €/h, Malta with 12.3 €/h, while Slovenia and Greece both have a labor cost of 14.9 €/h.
In contrast, Belgium ranks first in the list of the highest labor costs with 37.2 €/h. Then goes Luxemburg with 34.6 €/h, France with 34.2 €/h, Netherlands with 32 €/h, Finland with 30.8 €/h, Austria with 30.5 €/h, Germany with 30.4 €/h, Ireland with 29.1, Italy with 26.7 €/h , Spain with 21  €/h and Cyprus with 18.2 €/h.
In the period 2008-2012, in all Eurozone members, except for Greece, the labor cost rose. In Austria the labor cost was increased by 15.5 percent, in Slovakia by 13.8 percent, in Finland by 13.7 percent and in Belgium by 13.1 percent. The smaller increase was recorded in Portugal (0.4 percent) and Ireland (0.8 percent).
For the period 2008-2012, the average labor cost per hour in the Eurozone rose by 8.7 percent and reached 28 €/h in 2012.
In the EU of 27 member-states the labor cost per hour rose by 8.6 percent and reached 23.4 €/h in 2012.
Eurostat emphasized on the large gap between the EU members regarding labor cost per hour. For example, the labor cost in Bulgaria starts at 3.7 euros, in Romania at 4.4 euros, in Lithuania at 5.8 euros while in Sweden it starts at 39 euros, in Denmark at 38.1 and in Belgium 37.2
Finally, it should also be noted that the labor cost per hour was higher in industry (24.2 euros in the 27EU and 30.3 in the Eurozone), in services it was 23.7 and 27.6 respectively and in construction, 21 and 24.3.
A draft definition for labor cost could be “the sum of all wages paid to employees, as well as the cost of employee benefits and payroll taxes paid by an employer”.

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