With an hourly labor cost of 15.7 euros, Greece ranks among the European countries included in the second “cheapest” tier in the EU27, placing it significantly lower (23rd) than the bloc’s average of 24 euros per hour, according to figures released by Europe’s statistical authority, Eurostat.

The average hourly labor cost in the economy was calculated at 31.8 in the EU and 35.6 euros in the Eurozone for 2023, compared to 30.2 euros and 34.0 euros respectively in 2022, as the data shows.

In contrast, the countries that posted the highest hourly labor costs are Luxembourg (53.9 euros), Norway (51.9 euros), Iceland (49.7 euros), and Belgium (47.1 euros), exceeding the EU 45-euro average, while on the lower end countries with costs below 15 euros are Bulgaria (9.3 euros), Romania (11 euros), and Hungary (12.8 euros).

In 2023 compared to 2022, the hourly labor cost in terms of the overall economy, expressed in euros, increased by 5.3% in the EU and by 4.8% in the eurozone.

Within the eurozone, the hourly labor cost increased in all countries. The largest increases were recorded in Croatia (+14.2%), Lithuania (+12.4%), and Estonia (+11.7%).

For EU countries outside the common currency bloc, the eurozone, the hourly labor cost expressed in national currencies increased in 2023 in all countries, with the largest increases recorded in Hungary (+17.0%), Romania (+16.5%), Bulgaria (+14.0%), and Poland (+12.4%).

The two main components included in the measurement of labor costs are wages and non-wage costs (e.g., employer social contributions). The share of non-wage costs in the total labor cost for the entire economy was 24.7% in the EU and 25.5% in the eurozone.