Eurostat: Labor costs increase most in Latvia

The cost of labor in Latvia is rising most among the 27 member states of the European Union, according to a new study by the EU’s Eurostat office.

The study, announced Sept. 12, found that hourly labor costs in Latvia during the second quarter of this year were up 31.7 percent over the same period in 2006.

Labor costs measured by Eurostat are those incurred by employers and include the industrial, construction and service sectors. In Latvia, the greatest increase in labor cost among the three sectors came in construction, up 37.4 percent over the second quarter of last year.

Romania, which joined the EU earlier this year, had the second highest increase over last year, 23.4 percent. Lithuania (21.6 percent) and Estonia (18.7 percent), which along with Latvia joined the EU in 2004, were third and fourth, respectively.

The lowest labor cost increase was in Germany, 1.2 percent.

Latvia also had the greatest increase in labor cost during the first quarter of this year, according to Eurostat.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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