Labour Cost Index

Increase in the Labour Cost Index in the first quarter of 2024

Economic indicators
Increase in the Labour Cost Index in the first quarter of 2024

In the first quarter of 2024, the hourly labour cost increased by 2.1% on an annual basis.

The sharpest increase of the hourly labour cost is registered in manufacturing (NACE section C) with +3.6%, while the lowest increase was observed in real estate activities (section L) with +1.6%.

Seasonally adjusted basis 2020=100 2023Q1 2023Q2 2023Q3 2023Q4 2024Q1
Mining and quarrying (B) 116.31 116.50 116.99 117.54 118.46
Manufacturing (C) 114.19 115.74 117.08 118.01 118.62
Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply (D) 114.64 115.05 115.64 116.20 116.89
Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities € 116.20 116.18 116.63 117.34 118.43
Construction (F) 114.97 115.63 116.82 117.33 117.82
Wholesale and retail trade ; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (G) 116.19 116.12 116.89 117.56 118.28
Transportation and storage (H) 115.99 115.91 116.71 117.38 117.93
Accommodation and food service activities (I) 114.81 115.43 116.09 116.70 117.37
Information and communication (J) 115.35 115.94 116.53 116.98 117.53
Financial and insurance activities (K) 116.01 115.94 116.65 117.45 118.12
Real estate activities (L) 115.16 115.74 116.41 116.78 117.30
Professional, scientific and technical activities (M) 114.70 115.52 116.34 117.12 117.54
Administrative and support service activities (N) 113.30 113.66 115.36 116.59 117.03
Public administration and defence; compulsory social security (O) 113.60 114.41 114.98 115.54 116.13
Education (P) 115.43 115.56 116.24 116.91 117.63
Human health and social work activities (Q) 114.02 115.26 116.06 117.05 117.52
Arts, entertainment and recreation (R 117.28 116.98 117.46 118.25 119.46
Other service activities (S) 115.19 115.97 116.95 117.44 117.89

Purpose and brief description

The Labour Cost Index shows the development of the average hourly labour costs in all sectors. In this regard, the T+2 version of the NSSO files is used.

Moreover, total labour costs can be broken down into three subordinate components. First, the contributions can be excluded from the analysis. The evolution of the gross salaries, on the one hand, and of employers’ social security contributions, on the other hand, can also be followed up with separate indices.

Both the seasonally-adjusted index and the non-seasonally-adjusted series can be consulted.

Reference year

From 2023Q1, the indices are expressed with reference year 2020=100.

Therefore, we have created a new downloadable file, expressing the full series with reference year 2020=100.

The downloadable files with reference year 2016=100 remain available but will no longer be updated. These files end consequently in 2022Q4.


NSSO employers



Timing of publication

Results available 70 days after the reference period


Gross wages and salaries: Wages and salaries include normal earnings that employees or apprentices receive in return for their work and extraordinary earnings such as overtime, commissions and tips. Additional payments such as 13th and 14th month's pay, paid leave and holiday pay, profit-sharing bonuses, other lump sum benefits and shares are also included.

Employers' social contributions: Employers' social contributions are defined as payments made, during the reference period, by employers for the benefits of their employees to insurers covering statutory, conventional or contractual contributions in respect of insurance against social risks.

It includes:

  • employers' contributions to private retirement (pension) plans;
  • employers' contributions to private health insurance;
  • employers' contributions to life insurance;
  • employers' contributions to other employer insurance schemes (e.g. disability);
  • employers' contributions to government insurance (social security) schemes (including payroll taxes levied for social insurance purposes).

Total labour costs: labour costs mean the total expenditure borne by employers in order to employ staff. Labour costs include:

  • compensation of employees with wages and salaries in cash or in kind;
  • employers' social contributions;
  • vocational training costs;
  • employers' other expenditures;
  • taxes relating to employment regarded as labour costs, less any subsidies received.

Bonuses are all payments to employees which are not paid regularly at each (weekly or monthly) pay period. These include bonuses and allowances paid at fixed periods but not for each pay period (e.g. paid monthly where regular payments are weekly, or paid quarterly, bi-annually or annually), and bonuses linked to individual or collective performance. Exceptional payments to employees who leave the enterprise are included here, provided that such payments are not linked to a collective agreement.