EU statistics show that labour costs most in Denmark

Wages and salaries make up most of the cost for employers

Coming on the tail of the recent debate about the Danish labour market and defence of the so-called Danish model (not Helena Christensen, as Ryanair head David O’Brien quipped), new figures from the European Commission’s statistics office Eurostat have confirmed what many Danish business owners have long suspected: labour costs in Denmark are the highest in the EU.

High wages, low contributions
In 2014 the average hourly labour cost in Denmark was 40.3 euros, whereas the EU average was 24.6 euros and the lowest costs could be found in Bulgaria where an average hour’s labour costs just 3.8 euros.

The labour costs comprise wages and salaries and other costs, such as employers’ social contributions. There was also great disparity between the EU member states as to the extent of the non-wage costs.

The average across the EU was for the non-wage costs to make up 24.4 percent of the total labour cost. In Denmark this proportion was the second lowest at 13.1 percent.

The hourly labour cost across the EU rose by 1.4 percent from 2013. Denmark had the smallest rise, with an increase of just 0.9 percent.