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Labour cost statistics provide a comprehensive and detailed picture of the level, structure and short-term development of labour costs in the different sectors of economic activity in the European Union and certain other countries. All statistics are based on a harmonised definition of labour costs.
Structural information on labour costs is collected through four-yearly Labour Cost Surveys (LCS), which provides details on the level and structure of labour cost data, hours worked and hours paid. LCS results are available for the reference years 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012. All EU Member States together with Norway and Iceland (2004 onwards), Turkey and Macedonia (2008), as well as Serbia (2012) participated in the LCS. As far as available data and confidentiality rules permit, all variables and proportions are further broken down by enterprise size category, economic activity and region (for larger countries only).
The data are collected by the National Statistical Institutes in most cases on the basis of stratified random samples of enterprises or local units, restricted in most countries to units with at least 10 employees. The stratification is based on economic activity, size category and region (where appropriate). Regional metadata is identical to the metadata provided for national data. Some countries also complement the survey results with administrative data. Monetary variables are expressed in EUR, national currencies (for non-euro-area countries) and Purchasing Power Standards (PPS). Labour costs are quoted in total per year, per month and per hour, as well as per capita and per full-time equivalents (FTE). Information on staff, hours worked and hours paid is quoted in aggregate and separately for full- and part-time employees.