A report from the Basque Government’s Department of Economy and Planning concludes that the Basque Country has a high competitive level among 48 European regions with a similar structure. The article addresses the study of the Basque Country’s competitive performance compared with a group of European reference regions (RR) through the analysis of labour costs, unit labour costs, labour productivity and total factor productivity in the period 2000-2011.
From the comparison with these 48 RRs, which have structural similarities with the Basque Country, it has been concluded that despite unit labour costs having increased in the first stage and a clear deviation appearing, there was still a relative advantage over the other regions at the end of the period. However, in terms of productivity, the Basque economy as a whole shows clear weakness that is not offset by the relative strength of its industry.
Moreover, improvements in efficiency are observed mainly in the industrial sector and not in other sectors, which means that this industrial bias prevents the economy from being more balanced between sectors, as in other European regions. This diversity of productive models of the RR provides useful guidelines so that the Basque Country, while continuing to advance in industry, can aspire to a more complex and resilient productive structure.