Malta and Croatia report weakest growth of hourly labor costs in EU in Q2

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Working day-adjusted hourly labor costs grew by 4.1% among the EU27 in Q2 compared to the same period of last year, a report from the EU’s statistical office Eurostat shows. Croatia and Malta saw the weakest growth in hourly labor costs, of 0.7% and 0.8% respectively.

In Q4 2019, hourly labor costs grew by 3.9%. In the euro area, hourly labor costs in Q2 grew by 4.2%, after a 3.7% increase in the previous three months.

In Q1 hourly labor costs in Croatia grew by 0.6%. Wage costs in both the EU and the euro area grew more strongly than in Q1 despite measures introduced to contain the coronavirus.

In the EU27 they grew by 5.3%, after a 4.1% increase in Q1, while in the euro area they rose by 5.2%, after a 3.9% increase in Q1.

In both the EU and the euro area, the increase in hourly wage costs indicates that the decrease in the number of hours worked, due to the COVID-19 crisis, was not fully compensated by a matching decrease in wages, says Eurostat.