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Europe’s Huge Gulf in Labor Costs

If we compare the gross domestic product to the number of inhabitants and take a look at GDP per capita, the industrialized states are significantly ahead of the emerging countries.


In 2014, hourly expenditure on labour across the European Union amounted to €24.60. However, there is a massive gulf in labour costs between countries. A company can hire almost 12 Bulgarians for the cost of a single Dane, according to figures released by Eurostat.

Denmark’s hourly labour costs increased 0.9 percent in 2014, reaching €40.30. By contrast, the average hourly cost of employing a worker in Bulgaria is just €3.80. It is important to mention the disparity in the cost of living in both countries, but nonetheless, Eurostat’s data is an interesting illustration of the pace of economic development across the European Union.

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Statistics and facts on the Global Economy

The global gross domestic product (GDP), i.e. the total value of all goods and services manufactured and produced in one year, amounted to approximately 71.3 trillion U.S. dollars in 2012. Among the states with the highest gross domestic product, the United States ranked first (15.7 trillion U.S. dollars), followed by China, Japan, and Germany. According to a forecast for 2030, this ranking is about to be shaken up significantly, since emerging countries, such as the BRIC states China, India, Russia and Brazil, are growing faster than the industrialized states. In total, global economic growth amounted to about 3.2 percent in 2012 – a decrease from 3.9 percent in 2011.

However, if we compare the gross domestic product to the number of inhabitants and take a look at GDP per capita, the industrialized states are significantly ahead of the emerging countries. Norway, Luxembourg and Qatar have the highest GDP per capita worldwide, while the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi and Burundi lead the ranking of the countries with the lowest GDP per capita in 2012. On average, global GDP per capita amounted to approximately 10, 000 U.S. dollars in 2011.

In 2011, approximately 200 million people were unemployed worldwide, equating to a global unemployment rate of 6 percent. Among the world regions with the highest unemployment rates are North Africa and the Middle East, both with an unemployment rate of more than 10 percent.

The global inflation rate was at 4.9 percent in 2011, and is estimated to decrease in 2012. Consumer prices are increasing most significantly in Belarus, South Sudan and the Sudan, while the lowest inflation rates were reported from Switzerland, Japan and Georgia.

The leading exporting country in 2011 was China, with exports worth about 1.9 trillion U.S. dollars, closely followed by the United States and Germany. The ranking of the leading importing countries, however, sees the United States at the top, followed by China and Germany.


This chart shows EU labour costs per hour in 2014 (in euro).

Infographic: Europe's Huge Gulf In Labour Costs | Statista

You will find more statistics at Statista



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