Hourly labor costs in the European Union rose by 2.6 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2018, according to the EU's statistical office on Friday.
Eurostat noted that labor costs have two main components -- wages and salaries, and non-wage costs.
"In the EU28, both the costs of hourly wages and salaries, and the non-wage component rose by 2.6 percent in the second quarter of 2018," Eurostat said.
"In the first quarter of 2018, annual changes were plus 2.7 percent and plus 3.1 percent, respectively," the statistical office added.
According to Eurostat's definition, wage and salary costs include direct remuneration, bonuses, and allowances paid by an employer to an employee, payments to employees saving schemes, payments for days not worked and remuneration in kind such as food, drink, fuel, company cars, etc.
"Labour costs other than wages and salaries include the employers’ social contributions plus employment taxes regarded as labour costs less subsidies intended to refund part or all of the employer’s cost of direct remuneration," it noted.
The construction sector saw a 4.1-percent annual hike in labor costs per hour in the April-June period -- followed by industry (up 2.8 percent) and services (up 2.7 percent), official data showed.
Eurostat also noted that the highest annual increase in hourly labor costs for the whole economy was seen in Romania with a 15.6 percent hike, while the lowest annual increase was recorded in Luxembourg -- up 0.6 percent over the same period.