Romania's hourly labour cost rose 15.6% y/y in the second quarter of the year, marking the highest annual increase in the EU, data from Eurostat showed on September 14.
The annual rise was supported by a number of salary hikes in the public sector and a rise in the minimum wage. However, compared to other EU member states, labour costs remain low.
Overall costs in the business economy rose 12.4% and in the mainly non-business economy by 24.6%. In the business economy, costs grew by 10.6% in the industrial sector, by 18% in construction and by 13% in services.
According to earlier data from the Romanian statistics office, the highest annual increases in April-June (working-day adjusted) were registered in information and communications (+19.1%), real estate transactions (+18.3%) and construction (+17.9%).
Across the EU, the second highest increase in the annual hourly cost was registered in Latvia (+11.7%), while in Hungary, the hourly labour cost registered the third fastest rise, of 10.2%, The lowest annual increases in hourly labour costs were recorded in Luxembourg (+0.6%), Spain (+0.7%) and the Netherlands (+0.9%).
Total labour costs cover wage and non-wage costs less subsidies. They do not include the costs of vocational training or other expenditures such as the cost of recruitment buying workwear.