Denmark boasts highest labour costs in EU

Hourly labour costs in Denmark reached 300.30 Danish kroner (€40.30) - the highest rate across the European Union.

Denmark boasts highest labour costs in EU
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Denmark's hourly labour costs increased by 0.9 percent in 2014, up to 300.30 kroner (€40.30) from 297.7 kroner (€39.90) in 2013, according to data published by Eurostat on Monday.

Labour costs include wages and salaries, as well as non-wage costs such as employers' social contributions.

Denmark also had one of the smallest shares of non-wage costs, with just 13.1 percent of the country's labour costs coming from expenses other than wages and salaries. Only Malta had a smaller proportion of labour costs coming from non-wage items, at 6.9 percent, though Malta's average hourly labour costs were €12.30 (about 91.87 kroner).

Hourly labour costs in the services sector, which includes food and retail services, has the highest rate at 317.90 kroner, followed by industry (314.10 kroner) and business economy (313.30 kroner).
Non-business sectors, which includes education, health and the arts, but excludes public administration, saw hourly labour costs at 276.70 kroner while the construction sector saw the lowest rate at 271.70 kroner.

Overall, the average hourly labour costs across the EU last year was €24.60 (about 183.78 kroner). Non-wage costs made up 24.4 percent of this.

Labour costs across the EU rose by 1.4 percent between 2013 and 2014.
The countries with the lowest hourly labour costs were Bulgaria (€3.8), Romania (€4.6), Lithuania (€6.5) and Latvia (€6.6).

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Labour shortage hits half of Danish companies in construction sector

A record-high shortage of labour at some Danish companies is exacerbated in some places by a lack of materials, according to new data.

A file photo of construction in Aalborg. As many of half of construction companies in Denmark currently report a lack of labour.
A file photo of construction in Aalborg. As many of half of construction companies in Denmark currently report a lack of labour. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

The construction industry reports a lack of labour at around half of all companies, according to a survey by Statistics Denmark, based on responses from businesses.

In the service industry, which includes restaurants, hotels and cleaning, one in three companies reported a lack of workforce.

Some industries, notable machinery related businesses, also said they are short of materials currently.

The lack of labour is holding the Danish economy back, according to an analyst.

“Never before have we seen such a comprehensive lack of labour in the Danish economy,” senior economist Søren Kristensen of Sydbank said.

“It’s a shame and it’s a genuine problem for a significant number of the businesses which at the moment are losing revenue as a consequence of the lack of labour,” Kristensen continued.

“That is costly, including for all of Denmark’s economic growth. Even though we on one side can be pleased that it’s going well for the Danish economy, we can also regret that it could have been even better,” the economist said in a comment to news wire Ritzau.

Despite the lack of labour, businesses have their most positive outlook for years, according to Statistics Denmark.

The data agency based its conclusions on a large volume of responses from companies related to revenues, orders and expectations for the future.

The numbers are processed into a measure termer business confidence or erhvervstillid in Danish. The October score for the metric is 118.7, the highest since 2010, although there are differences between sectors.

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