European Labor Costs by Country

Labor Costs Vary Widely in Europe

There is a tenfold difference in total labor costs among the European countries, ranging from €54 per hour in Norway to €5 per hour in Romania.  These labor costs are reported by Eurostat and include wages and salaries and non-wage costs like training, recruitment and employer contribution to social insurance.  The highest costs are in smaller Northern European countries, while the lowest costs are in Southern and Eastern Europe.  While the top 5 economies are in the middle of the pack, their labor costs vary between €35 in France and €22 in the U.K..  If you are thinking about establishing a presence in Europe, location choice will have a big impact on your costs.  The chart below summarizes labor cost differences in the top 18 European markets (by GDP).

European Labor Costs by Country

Using a bar-mekko chart instead of a stacked bar chart allows us to add another dimension to the labor costs by country.  I added GDP as the bar widths to show that both the highest and lowest labor costs were in the relatively smaller European markets, while the largest 5 markets clustered more in the middle of labor costs.  I also used coloring to divide the countries into groups of four to make it easier for the reader to group the countries based on labor costs.  I slanted my bar labels and annotated some of my bar totals to make it easier to identify the labor costs in the smaller markets.  Finally, I added an average line to show how each country compared to the European average.  Here is the chart in SlideShare to download and edit using Mekko Graphics: