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Bulgaria posts highest labour cost growth in Q1 among SEE members of EU

Bulgaria posts highest labour cost growth in Q1 among SEE members of EU Work, labour costs, worker

SOFIA (Bulgaria), June 21 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria led in terms of the annual increase in hourly labour costs in the first quarter of 2022 among European Union member states from Southeast Europe (SEE), the bloc's statistical office said.

At 12.8%, annual labour cost growth in Bulgaria was second only to Hungary's across the entire 27-member bloc and on a par with Latvia's, Eurostat said in a statement last week.

Greece was the only SEE country where hourly labour costs decreased in the first quarter of the current year, by 4.7% year on year.

Out of the five EU member states in SEE, Slovenia -- with an increase of 0.7%, was the sole state where the rise in hourly labour costs was below the EU annual average of 3.7% in the review period.

In terms of sectors across the EU, accommodation and food service activities registered the highest annual growth in labour costs in the first quarter, of 7.2%, followed by transportation and
storage with 5.0% and administrative and support service activities with 4.9%.

Wages grew at the highest rate in the administrative and support service activities sector, at 5.1%, closely followed by wages in mining and quarrying, which grew by a yearly 5.0%, Eurostat data showed.

The two main components of labour costs are wages and salaries as well as non-wage costs, such as social security and insurance contributions.

Here are details on first-quarter hourly labour cost growth (pct change):

Q1 2022 Total Wages Other
Bulgaria 12.8 12.8 12.6
Croatia 6.3 6.3 6.9
Greece -4.7 -1.8 -13.2
Romania 8.6 8.6 8.5
Slovenia 0.7 0.7 0.7
Euro area avg 3.2 2.7 4.8
EU avg 3.7 3.3 5.1

Source: Eurostat

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