Social premiums account for one fifth of labour costs

Three-quarters of costs of employers for employees consist of wages. About 20 percent of the total costs are for social premiums.

Wages account for most

Private sector companies with ten or more employees spent a total of just over 120 billion euro on labour costs in 2000. These costs included wages of employees, social premiums paid by employers and other costs. Wages make up by far most of these costs: they account for three-quarters

Obligatory social premiums account for 11 percent

A second main cost item are the compulsory social premiums, which account for more than half of social premiums. These compulsory social premiums include contributions for disability insurance, health insurance fund and unemployment benefit. They vary from 8 percent for workers at energy and water companies to nearly 14 percent in the hotel and restaurant sector.

Labour costs highest for large companies

The average labour costs for private companies are 23 euro per hour worked. The labour costs are determined by the size of the company: the more employees, the higher the average costs per hour worked. Smaller companies (10–19 employees) spend 19 euro on average per hour, while larger companies (500 or more employees) pay nearly 25 euro.

Low labour costs in hotels and restaurants

Labour costs in mineral extraction are much higher than the average 23 euro, at 38 euro per hour. Employees at energy and water companies and financial institutions also cost much more than average, at 34 and 33 euro respectively. Employees cost least in the hotel and restaurant sector, just over 14 euro an hour.

Anouschka van der Meulen and Herman Slagter