Eurostat have published their first estimates of hourly labour costs in 2012. Ireland had the tenth highest hourly labour costs in the EU27 (eighth in the EA17), though is fifth highest for ‘wage and salaries’ (third in the EA17) due to lower than average ‘other costs’, which is primarily employers’ social contributions.
In 2008, Irish labour costs were 112.5% of the EA17 average and in 2012 this had fallen to 104.0%. Over the same five years, hourly labour costs in Ireland are estimated to have been largely unchanged (+0.8%) compared to rise of nearly 9% in the EA17. Only Greece in the EA17 recorded a decline (-11%) over the five years and all of that occurred in the last two years.
For Ireland, non-wage costs are estimated to be 14% of hourly labour costs, compared to an EA17 average of 26%. Only Luxembourg (13%) and Malta (8%) are lower.