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In the second quarter of 2022, the hourly labour costs rose by 4.0% in the euro area and by 4.4 % in the EU, compared with the same quarter of the previous year. These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. The two main components of labour costs

are wages & salaries and non-wage costs. In the euro area, wages & salaries per hour worked increased by 4.1%, while the non-wage component rose by 3.8% in the second quarter of 2022, compared with the same quarter of the previous year. In the EU, hourly wages & salaries increased by 4.5% and the non-wage component by 4.1% in the second quarter of 2022.

Breakdown by economic activity.      In the second quarter of 2022 compared with the same quarter of the previous year, hourly labour costs in the euro area rose by 4.3% in the (mainly) non-business economy and by 3.9% in the business economy: +2.2% in industry, +2.8% in construction and +4.9% in services. In the EU, hourly labour cost grew by 4.2% in the (mainly) non-business economy and by 4.4% in the business economy: +2.9% in industry, +3.3% in construction and +5.3% in services.

In the EU, the economic activities that recorded the highest annual increases in hourly wage costs were: NACE Rev. 2 section B – ‘Mining and quarrying’ (+6.9%), N – ‘Administrative and support service activities’ (+6.6%), M – ‘Professional, scientific and technical activities’ (+6.3%) and I – ‘Accommodation and food service activities’ (+6.0%). The two economic activities with the biggest annual increases in the non-wage component were NACE Rev. 2 section I – ‘Accommodation and food service activities’ (+41.0%) and R – ‘Arts, entertainment and recreation’ (+14.1%), while NACE Rev. 2 section F – ‘Construction’ recorded a decrease of 0.4%.

Hourly wage costs across countries.      In the second quarter of 2022 compared with the same quarter of the previous year, the highest increases in hourly wage costs for the whole economy were recorded in Hungary (+14.9%) and Bulgaria (+14.6%). Four more EU Member States recorded an increase above 10% namely: Lithuania (+12.4%), Romania (+11.7%), Poland (+11.1%) and Estonia (+10.1%). By contrast, the lowest increase in hourly wage costs for the whole economy was recorded in Greece (+0.8%).