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European worker costs an average of 28.9 euros per hour

In Bulgaria (10 euros) the cost is a third of the Peninsula

11 December, 18:40
(ANSA) - ROMA, 11 DIC - It costs about five times more to pay an Italian worker than it does in Bugaria. But at the top of the expense is Luxembourg where hourly pay is about double that of Italy and about 7 times that of Bulgaria. The map of hourly labor costs in Europe is provided by Eurostat, which updates the accounts to 2020. So while the debate and controversy in Italy rages on about companies relocating to save on labor costs and factories closing to reopen elsewhere it emerges that in 2020, the average hourly cost of a worker in the EU was 28.9 euros.

In 2020, the highest hourly labor costs among member states were in Luxembourg (47.7 euros), Denmark (45.7) and Belgium (40.5), and the lowest in Bulgaria (6.6), Romania (8.2) and Hungary (9.8). Italy at about 29 euros is in line with the EU average. Lower is the level in Spain (about 25 euros), while Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary are on the lower end of the scale with labor costs just over 10 euros.

Certainly still a huge figure when compared with that of the country where labor costs the least in the world: in fact, in Madagascar people earn $0.18 per hour (about 0.17 euros at the current exchange rate). This figure, however, although very low, should be compared with the overall cost of living in different countries.

Still in Madagascar, for example, one can rent a small house in the city for less than 85 euros a month. A figure that reported in Rome would allow the rent of just over 3 square meters (prices in the capital range from about 9 euros to just over 24 euros per square meter). In any case, meanwhile, in Europe the levels recorded for Luxembourg were 7.3 times higher than those recorded for Bulgaria. But compared to just one Malagasy worker, the difference is staggering: 250 times more.

The European data refer to full-time and part-time employees working in enterprises with more than 10 employees, in all economic sectors except: agriculture, forestry and fishing, public administration and defense, and social security.

Labor cost, Eurostat explains, refers to the total expenditure incurred by employers in hiring staff, that which covers wage and non-wage costs minus benefits. It includes job training costs or other expenses such as recruitment costs, expenditure on work clothes, etc. Hours worked are defined as periods of time spent by employees on direct and incidental activities in the production of goods and services, including normal work periods, paid and unpaid overtime, and time spent on preparation, maintenance, repair, cleaning, and report writing associated with the main work. Vacation and other public holidays, sick leave, and other types of absence for which employees are paid are excluded. Hourly labor cost is defined as the total labor cost divided by the number of hours worked by employees. Meanwhile, in the second quarter of 2022, hourly labor costs rose 4 percent in the euro area and 4.4 percent in the EU, compared with the same quarter a year earlier, Eurostat explained in updates. Below the EU average was Italy, which saw growth of 3 percent. In the euro area, wages and salaries per hour worked increased 4.1 percent, while the non-wage component rose 3.8 percent. (ANSA).

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