Statistics on labour costs

Labour costs are a crucial factor in the ability of enterprises and countries to compete. When specific to the manufacturing sector, labour costs serve as an indicator of competitiveness of manufactured goods in world trade. This is why governments, social partners, researchers and national and international institutions are interested in labour cost information that can be compared between countries and industries.

The cost of labour is the sum of all wages paid to employees, as well as the cost of employee benefits and payroll taxes paid by an employer. 

Table of Contents

Data

Methods

Indicator description: Earnings and labour cost

Indicator descriptions provide a concise overview of concepts and definitions, uses, sources and limitations.


Resolution concerning statistics of labour cost

Resolution concerning statistics of labour cost

Adopted by the 11th ICLS (1966), this resolution sets international standards for labour cost statistics, particularly as regards definitions, methods of compilation and classification, in order to promote the development of these statistics along sound lines and contribute to improvements of their international comparability.


Sources and Methods Volume 2: Establishment surveys (2012) - Employment, wages, hours of work and labour cost

This volume presents national methodological descriptions of establishment surveys from which statistics of employment, wages, hours of work and labour cost are obtained. It is a revised, enlarged and updated version of the second edition issued in 1995 and contains descriptions for 172 surveys in respect of 84 countries, areas and territories.


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Use filters above the table

Select a frequency to find monthly, quarterly, or annual indicators. While all indicators are available for annual periods, only a subset are available as monthly or quarterly. You can also filter the database or use the search feature to enter key words.

Options to access data

Data available in the Excel summary files are for indicators only (not available for countries or regions) for selected classification items for 2010 onward for annual data and 2018 onward for short-term indicators. For historical data or additional classifications, either use the Data Explorer or download the CSV file. 

Download a zipped CSV file (gzip) to get data in bulk. These files contain only codes. Download the dictionary with labels here

There are other options to access data in the data tools section

The option provides an intuitive interface to filter the selection, including for all available breakdowns (e.g., sex and age), and export the data into various formats.