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Annual growth in hourly labour cost at 2.3%

Constuction registers 0.1% increase over same period last year, far from the EU28’s average rise of 3.1%

Paul Cocks
20 March 2017, 11:51am
The 0.1% increase in the hourly labour cost in construction in Malta was far from the EU average of 3.1%
The 0.1% increase in the hourly labour cost in construction in Malta was far from the EU average of 3.1%
Hourly labour costs rose by 2.3% in Malta the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2016, compared with the same quarter last year, with the biggest rise (4.9%) registered in the (mainly) non-business economy.

The labour costs rose by 1.8% in industry, by 0.1% in construction, and by 0.7% in services, according to data released by the National Statistics Office.

In the EU28, all the member states of the European Union, the hourly labour cost rose by an average of 1.7% in Q4 of 2016, compared with the same quarter of the previous year.

The two main components of labour costs are wages & salaries and non-wage costs. In the euro area, comprised of 19 countries, wages & salaries per hour worked grew by an average of 1.6% and the non-wage component by 1.5%, in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared with the same quarter of the previous year.

In the EU28, hourly wages & salaries rose by 1.8% and the non-wage component by 1.5% in the fourth quarter of 2016. In the third quarter of 2016, annual changes were +1.9% and +1.4% respectively.

The increase registered by Malta in industry was close to the EU average, but the 0.1% increase in the hourly labour cost in construction was far from the EU average of 3.1%.

Job vacancy rates

In the same period, Eurostat reports, the job vacancy rate in the EU28 was 1.8%, stable compared with the previous quarter and up from 1.7% in the fourth quarter of 2015.

In Malta, the rate was 2.5%, down from 3.3% in the previous quarter but up from 2.1% in Q4 of 2015. Malta’s data, however cannot be compared to that EU average, since the country only surveys units with 10 employees or more.

The job vacancy rate (JVR) measures the proportion of total posts that are vacant, expressed as a percentage, with a job vacancy being defined as a paid post (newly created, unoccupied or about to become vacant) for which the employer is taking active steps to find a suitable candidate from outside the enterprise concerned and is prepared to take more steps and which the employer intends to fill either immediately or in the near future.

Paul Cocks joined MaltaToday after having spent years working in newspapers with The Times...
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