Labor costs one-third above eu average

Labor costs one-third above EU average

Private companies in germany spent an average of 31 euros per hour worked last year, according to the federal statistical office in wiesbaden on tuesday.

This put germany in eighth place. Labor costs rose more sharply than in many other countries.

The gap within the eu is wide. Sweden had the highest cost per hour at 41.90 euros, bulgaria the lowest at 3.70 euros. In germany’s most important trading partner, france, costs rose by 11 percent to 34.90 euros. In the eu, the average working hour cost 23.50 euros – an increase of 2.1 percent.

In the crisis countries of spain, italy and cyprus, labor costs rose only at a below-average rate. In greece, statisticians even expect a massive drop of almost 7 percent. This makes greece the only country in the eu where labor costs shrank last year.

In germany, the trend reversal that was already heralded in 2011 is confirmed. From 2001 to 2010, german labor costs rose more slowly than the eu average. "In 2011 and 2012, this long-term trend reversed," the statisticians explained. For both years, an increase of 2.8 percent is recorded. Experts also explain this with higher pay settlements than in previous years.

In industry, which faces strong international competition, labor was particularly expensive. An hour’s work in germany cost an average of 35.20 euros, 47 percent more than the eu average. "Here, germany ranked fifth in the eu-wide comparison," write the statisticians.

Labor costs are made up of gross wages and non-wage labor costs. The main component of non-wage costs is the employer’s statutory social security contributions.

In the past year, employers in the german private sector paid the following per 100 euros of gross earnings

additional 27 euros in non-wage labor costs. That was significantly less than the eu average of 32 euros. In the eu-wide ranking, germany was in the middle of the field in terms of non-wage labor costs, in 16th place.