BRUSSELS, March 20 (Xinhua) -- The hourly labor cost in the 19-country Eurozone increased while job vacancy rate stood higher in the last quarter of 2016, official data showed Monday.
The hourly labor cost rose by 1.6 percent year on year in the single currency zone and by 1.7 percent in the wider 28-country European Union (EU), said Eurostat, the bloc's statistics agency.
In a separate report, the agency said job vacancy rate in the Eurozone was 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016, up from 1.6 percent recorded in both the previous quarter and the fourth quarter of 2015.
The rate in the EU was 1.8 percent, stable compared with the previous quarter and up from 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015.
The readings masked great disparities as majority of the EU member states recorded growth in labor costs while decreased were registered in two countries including Austria and debt-torn Greece.
The bloc's powerhouse Germany and the United Kingdom were among those with highest job vacancy rates but countries hit by debt crisis, including Greece, Spain and Cyprus, still recorded lowest readings.
Eurozone's inflation has increased dramatically since the end of last year and reached 2 percent in February due to the recent energy price hike, but the core inflation, which excludes volatile energy, food, alcohol and tobacco prices, remained low.
Jobless rate across the continue still stayed almost double digit as years of subdued growth and investment failed to provide momentum.