SPAIN’S labour costs have peaked above the UK’s as a weak pound and lower wages make the UK a low-cost country compared to European counterparts.
The average hourly cost of employing someone in Spain last year was €21.10 compared to the UK which was €20.90, according to data from Eurostat.
The Eurozone average is €23.70 per hour and Britain and Spain are far below Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands.
Unemployment and productivity improvements in Spain since 2008 have pushed down the unit labour costs. In the UK, weak wage growth accompanied by weak productivity has damaged overall competitiveness.
Spain’s average hourly labour costs rose 8.7% between 2008 and 2013 compared to the EU’s average of 10.2%.
However in the UK, the average labour costs remained practically the same over the five year period.