The average monthly costs per employee in Romania stood at 1,530 RON in 2006, up 17% compared to the previous year, according to data presented by the Romanian statistics institute INS on Friday.

The INS says that financial services claimed the highest pace of growth in both salaries and costs per employee as the average salary in the field exceeded 2,260 RON last year while labor costs were 2.6 tiomes higher than the national economy average.

The average net salary stood at 866 RON last year, up 16.1% compared to 2005.

Beside the financial services sector, the highest average net salary boosts were reported in the public administration (81.9%), drilling industry (75.1%), utilities (55.7%), education (22.3%) and transport and communications (22.7%).

The hotel and restaurant industry stood below the national average (-38.3%), as did the trade sector (-24.8%), the processing industry (-15.6%), health and welfare (-5%) and real estate (-4%).

No less than 34 counties the average net salary stood below the national economy in 2006 with the lowest level reported in Covasna (24.2% less than the national average). The opposite pole was taken by capital Bucharest with the average net salary stood at 1142 RON (31.9% above the national average).