ECONOMY

Drastic cut in labor costs

The average monthly cost of labor in Greece has shrunk by 20 percent in the three years since the country joined the bailout mechanism in 2010, according to data compiled by the Hellenic Statistical Authority.

This came after labor costs had soared 55.4 percent in the decade 1999 to 2009. As a result, the average monthly cost dropped in 2012 to 1,552,70 euros, which is below the level seen 10 years ago, as in 2003 it had stood at 1,596.60 euros. The average monthly cost of labor peaked at 1,935.70 euros in 2009.

This drop represents one of the key objectives of the memorandum of understanding between Athens and its international creditors, in a bid to strengthen the competitiveness of Greek enterprises and the country’s economy in general.

In the last couple of years the minimum wage level has fallen by between 22 and 32 percent, while most companies have been forced to cut salary costs.