International Unit Labour Cost Position Has Slightly Deteriorated in 2007

In 2007, a working hour cost Austrian manufacturers 29.90 €, 7.8 percent more than the average of the other EU-15 countries. This amount consists of a wage share of 15.88 € plus 14.02 € in non-wage labour costs. At 88.3 percent, the incidental costs were slightly lower than in the previous year. In 2007, Austria ranked 11th in the international labour cost hierarchy. Labour was most expensive in Norway (one working hour in manufacturing was 33 percent more expensive than in Austria), followed by Belgium (+20 percent), Sweden (+17 percent), Denmark and Germany (+10 percent). Thanks to the exchange rate, Switzerland improved its position, although a working hour was still more expensive (by 8 percent) than in Austria. In France and the Netherlands the working hour cost more, in Finland the same as in Austria. In the UK and Ireland, manufacturers paid 10 percent less; in Italy the cost was one fifth lower than in Austria. The euro appreciation reduced the cost of a working hour in the USA; hence labour was in the USA by a quarter and in Japan by almost 40 percent cheaper than in Austria. In the new EU countries, labour cost a fraction of the Austrian rate: in Hungary, Estonia and the Czech Republic it was just about 20 percent, in Poland, Lithuania and Latvia 15 percent, and in Romania and Bulgaria less than 10 percent.