In the Euro Area, unit labour costs are a measure of total labour costs per unit of output calculated as the ratio of compensation per employee to labour productivity (defined as GDP per person employed). The UK plastics industry is concerned with the importing of products and the 'exporting' of jobs. The industrial revolution was based on using machinery to increase labour productivity and as the home of the industrial revolution; the UK became a world power. This might seem a recipe for accepting the loss of UK manufacturing industry, but the rules have changed again. We are in the middle of a 'second industrial revolution' in 'resource productivity' where the aim is to increase the effective use of materials to generate profits. Not only is the cost structure changing but also the efforts to control costs are out of proportion to the structure of the costs.
Unless the industry realises and accepts this then cost management efforts will continue to be directed at the smallest component of costs and cost control efforts will be ineffective. Leading the 'second industrial revolution' in resource productivity is the key to success in the future. Achieving continued survival and profitability into the future will mean taking charge of the company's destiny rather than allowing it to be dictated to you. We also need to accept responsibility for the controllable overheads and act to reduce the controllable overheads. It reduces the materials and energy content of products and reduces the environmental impact of the product and the manufacturing process.
External and legislatively driven costs are becoming the major key to success and survival. Labour Cost Cartoons and ComicsLabour Cost cartoon 1 of 18Dislike this cartoon?'Of course I support poor children. Data from January 2015, most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database. This article is based on the two latest vintages of the 4-yearly Labour cost survey (LCS), with reference years 2008 and 2012, highlighting changes in hours worked and hourly labour costs between the two reference years. Despite the drop in hours worked, the number of employees in the EU remained stable from 2008, while it increased by 2 % in the euro area (EA).
Changes in labour cost can be split into changes in the volume of labour input (number of hours worked, number of employees) and prices (hourly labour costs) (Figure 1). Changes in total hours worked are the combined effect of changes in the number of employees and in the average number of hours worked per employee. Changes in the number of hours worked and the number of employees may be sizeably impacted by methodological differences between LCS 2008 and 2012. In the 21 countries where the total hours worked went down, the drop was mainly due to a reduction in the number of employees, with the exception of France, Italy and the Netherlands where the reduction in the number of hours worked per employee played a larger role. At the opposite extreme, "Human health and social work activities" registered a growth of 14 % in the hours worked between 2008 and 2012 for the EU.
Conversely, enterprises in the EU employing between 250 and 499 employees recorded no change in the hours worked by employees. The evolution in the number of hours worked by region between 2008 and 2012 was quite diverse.
The wage component made the largest contribution to changes in the hourly labour cost expressed in national currencies. Looking at the different sectors of the EU economy, the "Construction" sector recorded the highest increase (+15 %) in hourly labour cost between 2008 and 2012 (Table 3). As Map 2 shows, the highest increases in hourly labour cost over this period were registered in several Eastern European regions.

The Labour cost survey (LCS) provides details on the level and structure of labour cost data, hours worked and hours paid for employees in the European Union (EU). If not otherwise stated, data refer to full-time and part-time employees working in enterprises employing 10 employees or more, in all economic sectors except: agriculture, forestry and fishing (NACE Rev.
Hours worked are defined as the periods of time employees spent on direct and ancillary activities to produce goods and services, including normal periods of work, paid and unpaid overtime and time spent on preparation, maintaining, repairing, cleaning and writing reports associated to main work. The average hours worked per calendar week are calculated as the total number of hours worked by a full time employee during the year divided by the decimal number of all weeks in that year (i.e.
Time is money, goes the old saying & if you are operating a fleet in your business, then you understand it better every payday.
Drivers heading home for a nap, taking extra time for lunch or falsifying records is a thing of the past. A two speed Europe refers to how, within the EU, economies are growing at different rates and are at different stages in the business cycle.
On the other hand, another group of European economies (you could refer to them as the PIGS – Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain) have seen slower growth, higher unemployment and a tendency to have a current account deficit. The problem of a two speed Europe is exacerbated by having a common monetary policy (same interest rate, same exchange rate and same policy on quantitative easing). This graph shows that the UK’s economy has mirrored the average growth rate of the Eurozone closely between 2005 and 2012.
However, it is worth bearing in mind that since 2007, the UK has pursued quite different economic policies to the Eurozone. I think it would be fair to say, the UK has managed to have the same growth as the Eurzone, precisely because it wasn’t in the Euro. Looking at unemployment rates, the gap between different countries looks even more significant.
One reason (there are many others) for Greece’s difficulties is relatively rising unit labour costs. About the AuthorTejvan studied PPE at LMH, Oxford University and works as an economics teacher and writer.
This page provides the latest reported value for - Euro Area Labour Costs - plus previous releases, historical high and low, short-term forecast and long-term prediction, economic calendar, survey consensus and news. The industrial revolution is now worldwide and labour productivity is available anywhere in the world. To gain leadership requires management and control of the full product life cycle from cradle to grave. On average, EU employees worked 2 % less hours in 2012 than in 2008, with significant differences across countries. While several Member States had a drop of 15 % or more (Latvia, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Lithuania), some recorded an increase (Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Greece, Sweden, Cyprus and the United Kingdom).
Both countries registered a drop of 14 % in the total number of hours worked over the same period. Compared with 2008, the number of employees in 2012 remained stable in the EU and increased by 2 % in the euro area. In the case of Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Portugal and Slovakia a difference of more than 10 percentage points with national accounts is observed.
In the seven countries where total hours worked went up, the rise was driven by an increase in the number of employees, except for Cyprus where the average number of hours worked provided the largest contribution. Northern Ireland (UKN) registered the largest increase in hours worked (+52 %), while the 'Sur' region in Spain (ES6) recorded the biggest drop (Map 1).
For the EU as a whole and the euro area, the wage component contributed to 8 percentage points (pp).

Data do not cover apprentices except in the case of Bulgaria, Latvia, Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia where they represent a low share of the total labour force (less than 1 %). They exclude periods of vacation and other public holidays, sick leave and other type of absence which employees are paid for.
2 B to S excluding O (same as for other countries) as well as excluding section P, since data for this economic sector was not available for reference year 2008. For example, countries in the core of the Eurozone (Germany, Netherlands, France) have seen relatively good recovery since the recession.
The credit crunch hit the UK economy harder because of our exposure to financial sector but with greater flexibility we were able to reduce the depth of the recession.
Unemployment is one of the most pressing social problems (or should be if the ECB didn’t worry too much about inflation) This shows peripheral members of the EU like Spain, Greece and Ireland have a significant unemployment problem which has increased sharply since 2007. Also Interesting to see the squeeze placed on Irish wages since 2008, which perhaps explains why they were able to reduce current account deficit. Euro Area Labour Costs - actual data, historical chart and calendar of releases - was last updated on April of 2016. Unless the UK industry addresses the real issues of resource usage and overhead management then business will continue to migrate offshore whilst the industry chases a mirage of 'labour cost reduction'. Resource productivity means reducing the resources used (and paid for) and converting those that are used into higher added value products in the most effective way. A similar scenario was observed in another 17 EU countries, which also registered an increase in hourly labour cost and a decrease in hours worked. Between 2008 and 2012, the number of employees and the average number of hours worked per employee moved in the same direction for most countries, except for eight, where the change in the number of employees always prevailed over the change in hours worked per employee. The highest contributions to growth in wages were recorded in Bulgaria (+31 pp) and Poland (+18 pp) and the lowest in Greece (-8 pp), Cyprus (-1 pp) and Lithuania (0 pp). The contributions of the non-wage component ranged from –3 pp in Hungary and -1 pp in Malta to +5 pp for Belgium and Poland, and +6 pp for Slovakia. They do include vocational training costs or other expenditures such as recruitment costs, spending on working clothes, etc.
In these countries, unit labour costs have remained competitive, enabling a low current account deficit or even surplus.
However, the forecasts for Irish growth look very optimistic given current state of Irish economy.
The transmission of LCS data for NACE section O is not mandatory and the corresponding data are available for 23 Member States only. This number should not be confused with the standard number of hours worked during a working week which is generally higher.
Yet in the course of this year a series of strikes and labor shortages in China have to some observers heralded the end of the era of 'cheap' China.
Hungary and Romania were the only EU countries which registered a drop in the hours worked as well as a drop in the hourly labour cost.
Salary increases have supposedly become common in China's manufacturing sector—high-profile increases at firms like Hon Hai and Foxconn have been prominent examples of this. The next 10 years, however, might very well see China catching up with these countries.  The China Sourcing Blog is THE BEIJING AXIS online media platform to track the latest trends on sourcing and the Chinese economy.
Taking on a multi-faceted, dynamic subject and carefully scanning everything from the mainstream media to the distant corners of the Internet, CSB strives to get to the bottom of all the best bits and pieces on China sourcing.

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