Eurozone Labor Cost Growth Eases For Second Straight Quarter

Eurozone labor costs growth slowed for the second consecutive quarter in the three months to December 2014, figures from Eurostat revealed Thursday.

The nominal hourly labor costs grew a working-day adjusted 1.1 percent year-on-year following 1.4 percent gain in the third quarter. In the three months to June, labor costs had risen 1.5 percent.

Of the two main components of labor costs, wages & salaries per hour grew 1 percent annually in the euro area and non-wage costs rose 1.2 percent. That followed a 1.4 percent gain in both components during the third quarter.

Among different sectors, hourly labor costs grew 1.3 percent in industry, 0.7 percent in construction, 0.8 percent in services and 1.2 percent in the non-business economy.

In the EU 28, labor costs increased 1.4 percent annually in the fourth quarter after rising 1.5 percent in the previous three months. Wages and salaries costs grew 1.4 percent and non-wage costs increased 1.6 percent.

The highest annual growth in labor costs was registered in Romania, while the biggest decrease was seen in Portugal.

Separately, the Eurostat announced that the euro area job vacancy rate rose to 1.8 percent in the fourth quarter from 1.6 percent in the previous three months. The figure for EU 28 climbed to 1.7 percent from 1.6 percent.

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