Declining Euro Improves Austrian Ranking in Relative Unit Labour Cost
In an international ranking of labour costs, Austria places tenth after Germany, the Scandinavian countries, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Japan. Labour is most expensive in Germany: At ATS 331 manufacturers in Germany pay 25 percent more per working hour than those in Austria, where in 1999 a worker's hour cost ATS 265.20 or 4¾ percent more than the EU average. The rate of non-wage labour costs in manufacturing was 91.4 percent in 1999, or 0.8 percentage points higher than in 1998, due to a rise in severance payments and failure periods. The position of Austrian industries in an international unit labour cost ranking fluctuated throughout the 1990s. In the first half of the decade, it deteriorated by almost 3 percent due to higher wage inflation than in the competing countries and the Schilling's gain in value in consequence of the crisis of the European monetary system. In the second half, relative unit labour cost fell by 4.5 percent against the average of trading partners, due to lower wage inflation, continuing productivity growth and better currency ratios in the single currency. In 1999, unit labour cost in Austrian manufacturing decreased by 0.5 percent. Its international ranking, compared to the average of trading partners, improved by 1.4 percent, thanks to the strong recovery of the yen and dollar currencies.
Verbesserung der relativen Lohnstückkostenposition durch Euro-Kursrückgang; Declining Euro Improves Austrian Ranking in Relative Unit Labour Cost
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