Bulgaria Leads EU in Wage Cost Growth for Q1 2024


In the first quarter of 2024, labor costs per hour worked in the European Union have shown significant increases, according to the latest data from Eurostat. Across the EU, these costs rose by 5.5% compared to the same period the previous year, while in the euro area, the increase was slightly lower at 5.1%.

Labor costs for firms encompass not only wages and salaries paid to employees but also indirect labor costs, primarily social security contributions borne by employers.

In the Eurozone, hourly wages and salaries saw a notable uptick of 5.3%, with indirect labor costs rising by 4.5%. This resulted in a total increase in labor costs of 5.1% year-on-year for the first quarter of 2024. Meanwhile, across the entire EU, hourly wages and salaries grew by 5.8%, total labor costs by 5.5%, and the non-wage component by 4.8%.

Among EU countries, Bulgaria recorded one of the highest growth rates in wage costs per hour worked during the first quarter of 2024. The country experienced a substantial increase of 15.8% compared to the same period in the previous year. This rise was matched by a corresponding increase of 15.9% in the non-salary component of labor costs.

Other EU member states also saw significant increases in wage costs per hour worked, with Romania leading the pack with a remarkable jump of 16.4% annually. Following closely were Croatia with a 15.3% increase, Poland at 14.15%, and Hungary with a rise of 13.7%. Latvia and Lithuania also reported notable increases of 12.7% and 11.1%, respectively.

Continue reading on: