Labour costs less than half eurozone standard
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Labour costs less than half eurozone standard

At almost €12 an hour, the average hourly labour costs in Malta are less than half the eurozone standard of €27.60, according to Eurostat.

The island is one of the most competitive EU member states when it comes to the cost of labour, even though this news may not go down well with salaried workers.

At the end of last year, the average hourly labour costs, which include salaries and non-wage costs such as the employer’s social contributions, stood at €11.90.

The data also shows that, over the past four years, Malta managed to keep labour costs almost stable, a positive factor for the economy. In 2008, the average hourly labour costs amounted to €11.20.

At the end of last year, Malta’s average labour costs per hour were the 10th lowest in the EU 27, even lower than some member states that joined together with Malta in 2004, such as Slovenia (€14.40) and Cyprus (€16.50).

But such costs in Malta are much higher than some other members, particularly the poorest ones such as Bulgaria (€3.50 an hour) and Romania (€4.20 an hour).

Though not the only factor, labour costs are one of the decisive factors taken into consideration by foreign companies and company bosses when deciding to invest in a particular country.

Eurostat said that, in 2011, the highest hourly labour costs were registered in Belgium (€39.30), Sweden (€39.10), Denmark (€38.60), France (€34.20), Luxembourg (€33.70), the Netherlands (€31.10) and Germany (€30.10).

Purchasing power varies significantly among member states depending on various factors of the economy, including the cost of living.

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