Labour costs

Labour cost statistics provide a detailed picture of the level, structure and short-term development of labour costs.

Quarterly Labour Cost Index (LCI)

The quarterly Labour Cost Index (LCI) shows the short-term development of the total hourly costs incurred by the employers of maintaining their employees. In other words, the LCI measures the cost pressure arising from the production factor 'labour'. The index is available broken down by cost items (wages and salaries component, employers' social contributions) as well as by economic activity.

The LCI covers the economic activities of industry and services (including public administration). The reference year of the index is 2016. In addition to the index numbers, annual and quarterly growth rates of labour cost are also available. The data collection is based on legislation which defines that countries shall transmit the data within 70 days after the end of the reference period to Eurostat.

Labour Cost Surveys (LCS)

Structural information on labour costs is collected through the four-yearly Labour Cost Surveys (LCS), which provide detailed data on structure and level of labour costs, hours worked and hours paid. Data is broken down by economic activity and enterprise size. Regional data according to the NUTS-classification is also available.

The reference years of the surveys covered are 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 (next survey: reference year 2016). The LCS cover units with 10 and more employees and all economic activities except agriculture, fishing, public administration, private households and extra-territorial organisations. LCS are based on legislation and data become available approximately 2 years after the end of the reference period.

Additional information on labour costs is also included in national accounts and collected in Structural Business Statistics (SBS), although in far less detail.