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Greek labour costs now half eurozone average

Cost of employing someone in Grece falls by a fifth since 2008

Greece's hourly labour costs are now rank 16th out of 28 countries: in Greece, it costs on average €13.60 to employ someone per hour, half of the European Union average of €23.70

Workers in a Greek clothing factory (File photo: Reuters) Workers in a Greek clothing factory (File photo: Reuters) Labour costs in Greece fell by almost a fifth from 2008 and 2013, the biggest fall in the entire European Union, figures released on Thursday showed.

The data from Eurostat, the EU's statistical arm, found that the labour cost per hour in Greece fell from €16.70 in 2008 to €13.60 in 2013, a decrease of 18.6%. That puts the labour costs in Greece far below the eurozone average of €28.20 and more than half of EU average of €23.70. 

(Source: Eurostat) (Source: Eurostat) In 2008, just before the crisis hit the country, Greece's labour costs were 65% of the eurozone average. Last year, they were 48% of the average. 

Greece's hourly labour costs are now rank 16th out of 28 countries.

Greece was one of only five other EU countries, among them Hungary (-5.2%) and Portugal (5.1%), to experience a fall in labour costs in the same period. In all the others, labour costs increased. On average, the hourly labour costs rose by 10.2% in the 28 members of the EU and by 10.4% in the eurozone.

Within the eurozone, the largest increases were recorded in Austria (+18.9%), Slovakia (+17.0%) and Finland (+15.9%)

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