European survey of employment costs
A new survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting, the world's largest employee benefits consultancy, shows that employment costs in western European countries are more than four times higher than those in the east. At the extremes, costs in the most expensive countries are over ten times those in the least costly countries.
The highest annual employment costs are borne by Belgium, Sweden and Germany, closely followed by Luxembourg and the UK. In contrast, Latvia and Lithuania have the lowest. Belgium's average employment costs are as much as •53,577 (£36,507) while Latvia‚s are just 4,753 (£3,239). The average cost of employment across all EU states surveyed is 28,269 (£19,262).
"The survey highlights the competitive advantage that Eastern EU countries have over the West," said Mark Sullivan, worldwide partner at Mercer. "It is unsurprising that more companies are now moving their operations to eastern Europe where employment costs are so much lower."
The UK's employment costs have gradually increased over the last two years and are now 46,541 (£31,713), which is 40% higher than in the US.
On average, employment costs in the EU are around 15% less than in the US.