Cost per hour worked plummets 3.8% in the second quarter, its biggest drop since 2017


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The cost per hour worked fell by 3.8% in the second quarter compared to the same period of 2020, thus registering its greatest decline since the first quarter of 2017, according to provisional data from the Harmonized Labor Cost Index (ICLA) published this Thursday by the National Institute of Statistics (INE).

With the fall in the second quarter, labor costs also put an end to eleven consecutive quarters of year-on-year increases. The INE attributes the decrease in cost per hour in the second quarter to the fact that the increase in hours worked exceeded that of labor costs.

By components, salary cost fell 2.4% compared to the second quarter of 2020 after eight positive quarters, while the other costs decreased by 7.7%. The labor cost, excluding extraordinary payments and arrears, decreased by 3.1% year-on-year in the second quarter of the year.

Eliminating seasonal and calendar effects, labor cost per hour worked also fell 3.8% in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, ending 15 quarters of positive rates in the corrected series.

In a quarterly rate (second quarter over first quarter), the labor cost per hour worked decreased by 0.4% in the series adjusted for seasonal and calendar effects, compared to the stagnation it experienced in the first quarter.

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