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Business

German labor costs one third above EU average

Labor costs in Germany's private sector continue to be a lot higher than the average across the 28-member European Union. The national statistics office found costs were highest in Denmark.

Labor costs carried by private-sector employers in Germany were 30 percent above the European average in 2014,

the National Statistics Office, Destatis, reported Monday

.

It said that in Europe's economic powerhouse 31.8 euros ($35.5) were paid on average per working hour, while the EU average stood at just 24.4 euros.

But the fact employers paid that much more than the average didn't mean Germany ended up at the top of the table. In fact, Germany only ranked eighth, far behind the three nations leading the field - Denmark, Belgium and Sweden.

Denmark in the lead

In Denmark, where labor was most expensive, employers paid 42 euros per working hour, while in Bulgaria, where labor was cheapest, only 3.80 euros were shelled out, demonstrating vast disparities within the bloc.

Labor costs consist of gross earnings and non-wage spending on employees. Last year, employers in Germany's private sector paid an additional 28 euros of non-wage costs per 100 euros of gross earnings.

The main component of non-wage costs were again social contributions, particularly employers' statutory social security payments and contributions to pension schemes as well expenditure on sick pay.

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