April 11, 2005


New EU members offer huge labour cost advantage (Andrew Taylor, April 10 2005, Financial Times)

Labour costs in the new members of the European Union are on average less than a quarter of the level of the older member states, according to a study by Mercer Human Resources Consulting, the world's largest employee benefits consultancy.

Employment costs in the EU as a whole were about 15 per cent less than in the US, but after taking taking eastern EU countries out of the equation western european countries were 23 per cent more expensive than in the US and among the highest in the world said Mercer.

Mark Sullivan worldwide partner at the consultancy said eastern europe had a strong competitive advantage over the west: "With the strength of the pound and euro against the dollar, there are concerns about whether US companies will continue to invest in the EU. Organisations that do invest are likely to favour Eastern European countries."

The highest annual employment costs according to the European study were in Belgium, Sweden and Germany where the total financial burden of employing a worker, including benefit costs, was more than €50,000 ($58,500) a year.

Schröder ready to launch U-turn on minimum wage (Bertrand Benoit, April 10 2005, Financial Times)
The German government will this week consider a series of measures to fight a downward spiral in wages, including setting a minimum wage for the most vulnerable sectors of the economy.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 11, 2005 12:28 PM

Gerhard is a Germnan Harold Hill, a proponent of the "Think Method" of prosperity.

Posted by: Luciferous at April 11, 2005 1:17 PM

Makes sense. Fewer jobs should mean higher wages. Now he needs to raise taxes on those sectors until they start maintainig higher wages. Hurt the bastards until they do what they're told!

Posted by: Tom C., Stamford, Ct. at April 12, 2005 8:02 AM