Go to Statistics Portal

LABOUR COST – ILO

Statistics Directorate    
French Equivalent: Coûts du travail - BIT

Definition:
For the purpose of labour cost statistics, labour cost is the cost incurred by the employer in the employment of labour.

The statistics concept of labour cost comprises remuneration for work performed, payments in respect of time paid for but not worked, bonuses and gratuities, the cost of food, drink and other payments in kind, cost of workers’ housing borne by employers, employers’ social security expenditures, cost to the employer for vocational training, welfare services and miscellaneous items, such as transport of workers, work clothes and recruitment, together with taxes regarded as labour cost.

Context:
Statistics of labour costs are based on the concept of labour as a cost to an employer rather than from the perspective of earnings to an employee. The concept of labour cost is broader than compensation of employees as it includes expenditure on welfare services, recruitment and training and other miscellaneous costs including work clothes and taxes on employment (International Labour Organization (ILO) Resolutions Concerning Statistics of Labour Cost Adopted by the 11th International Conference of Labour Statisticians, October 1966, para. 3)

The level and structure of labour costs and the way they change over time can play a central role in wage negotiations or in implementing and assessing employment, wages and other social policies. Information on labour cost per unit of labour input (that is, per time unit) is particularly useful in the analysis of certain industrial problems, as well as in the field of international economic co-operation, international trade and competitiveness (Key Indicators of the Labour Market (KILM): 2001-2002, International Labour Organisation, Geneva, 2002, page 475).

Source Publication:
International Labour Organization (ILO) Resolutions Concerning Statistics of Labour Cost Adopted by the 11th International Conference of Labour Statisticians, October 1966, para. 3.

Cross References:
Labour cost – Eurostat
Labour price index

Hyperlink:
http://www.ilo.org/public/english/bureau/stat/res/index.htm

Version Indicator: ILO

Statistical Theme: Labour statistics

Created on Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Last updated on Thursday, March 06, 2003