Austria's International Unit Labour Cost Position Improved in 2004

The unit labour cost position of Austrian businesses improved clearly in the second half of the 1990s and has remained largely stable since the year 2000. In Austrian manufacturing, one hour of blue-collar labour cost 20.80 € in 2004, hence approximately 2.25 percent less than the average paid by the country's trading partners in the EU 15. Of this amount, 11.40 € were paid in wages and 9.40 € in non-wage labour costs. The latter thus made up 82.6 percent of wages, a decline of 1 percentage point against 2003, due essentially to a reduction of health insurance contributions for workers and a decrease in sickness times.