According to the report from Eurostat, in the fourth quarter of 2020, the hourly labour costs rose by +3.0% in the euro area and by +3.3% in the EU, compared with the same quarter of the previous year. In the third quarter of 2020, hourly labour costs increased by +1.6% and +1.8% respectively.
The two main components of labour costs are wages & salaries and non-wage costs. In the euro area, the cost of wages & salaries per hour worked grew by +3.5% and the non-wage component by +1.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020, compared with the same quarter of the previous year. In the third quarter of 2020, the annual changes were +2.2% for wages & salaries and -0.3% for the non-wage component. In the EU, the costs of hourly wages & salaries increased by +3.7% and the non-wage component by +1.8% in the fourth quarter of 2020. In the third quarter of 2020, the annual change in wages & salaries was +2.4%, while the non-wage component remained unchanged.
In both the EU and the euro area, the non-wage component moderated the growth in hourly labour costs, in particular due to the tax reliefs and subsidies granted by EU governments to support enterprises affected by the crisis.
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