New Eurostat figures show that one working hour in Poland last year cost €8.60, around one-third of the EU average of €25.40. Surrounding countries such as Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Bulgaria were cheaper still – with the latter at €4.40. Wonder not why central Europe will stay attractive for office developers/investors for a while yet.
A comparison of 2016 labour costs picked up by the Warsaw-based FinancialObserver.eu portal showed that Polish hourly labour costs rose 4.1%yy last year in local currency but still maintained a huge gap to, for example, the most expensive EU member, Denmark, where a working hour cost €42. Next-door Norway, not an EU member, was Europe’s most expensive at €50.20, while an hour of Swedish labour cost €38. As you might expect, and by constrast to the rises in low-wage CEE, all Nordic labour costs are gradually declining.
Among the countries geographically closest to Poland, the Eurostat data showed that highest labour costs last year came in Slovenia, at €16.20 per hour – making it more expensive than Greece and Portugal in western Europe. Labour in other CEE nations Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Estonia was also more expensive than Poland.
FinancialObserver.eu, keeping a sharp eye on Polish competitiveness, noted that although Polish costs in Zloty rose last year, denominated in euro they slipped by 0.2%yy. Meanwhile, Czech hourly labour costs in euro rose by 3.8% and Croatian by 4.8%. “In this respect, the European record holder is Romania, where labour costs in euro increased by 11.6% from 2015 to 2016,” it noted.