Labour costs per hour in Malta last year were half the EU average, according to Eurostat figures.

The EU average was €23.4 while Malta’s was €12.3.

The euro area average hourly labour cost was €28.

Eurostat said that in the EU average figures mask significant differences between the member states, with hourly labour costs ranging from €3.7 in Bulgaria, €4.4 in Romania, €5.8 in Lithuania and €6.0 in Latvia, to €39.0 in Sweden, €38.1 in Denmark, €37.2 in Belgium, €34.6 in Luxembourg and €34.2 in France.

Within the business economy, labour costs per hour were highest in industry (€24.2 in the EU27 and €30.3 in the euro area), followed by services (€23.7 and €27.6 respectively) and construction (€21.0 and €24.3). In the mainly non-business economy (excluding public administration), labour costs per hour were €22.9 in the EU27 and €27.2 in the euro area.

Labour costs are made up of wages and salaries and non-wage costs such as employers' social contributions. The share of non-wage costs in the whole economy was 23.7% in the EU27 and 26.1% in the euro area, varying between 8.2% in Malta and 33.6% in France.

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