The total labor cost in Romania recorded the largest increase among EU member states in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the similar period in 2018, according to data released on Monday by the European Statistics Office (Eurostat).
Hourly labor cost increased in the first three months of this year by 2.6 percent in the European Union and by 2.4 percent in the euro area compared to the same period in 2018. In the fourth quarter of 2018, there was a 2. 8 percent advance in the EU and 2.3 percent in the euro area.
In the first quarter of 2019, the most significant annual advance was reported in Romania (16.3 percent) and Bulgaria (12.9 percent), the only decline being in Greece (minus 0.2 percent).
In the first quarter of 2019, labor cost growth in Romania is mainly due to a 23.5 percent increase in the non-business hourly labor cost. By sectors of the economy, labor costs in Romania increased by 18.6 percent in construction, by 12.7 percent in industry and by 13.5 percent in services.