The two main components of labour costs are wages & salaries and non-wage costs. In the euro area, the cost of wages & salaries per hour worked grew by 1.9% and the non-wage component by 2.9% in the second quarter of 2018 compared with the same quarter of the previous year. In the first quarter of 2018, the annual changes were +1.8% and +2.8% respectively. In the EU28, both the costs of hourly wages & salaries and the non-wage component rose by 2.6% in the second quarter of 2018. In the first quarter of 2018, annual changes were +2.7% and +3.1% respectively.
Breakdown by economic activity In the second quarter of 2018 compared with the same quarter of the previous year, hourly labour costs in the euro area rose by 2.2% in industry, by 2.7% in construction, by 2.5% in the services and by 1.5% in the (mainly) nonbusiness economy. In the EU28, labour costs per hour grew by 2.8% in industry, by 4.1% in construction, by 2.7% in services and by 2.2% in the (mainly) non-business economy.
In the second quarter of 2018, the highest annual increases in hourly labour costs for the whole economy were registered in Romania (+15.6%), Latvia (+11.7%) and Hungary (+10.2%), while the lowest annual increases in hourly labour costs were recorded in Luxembourg (+0.6%), Spain (+0.7%) and the Netherlands (+0.9%).