Cost per hour worked increased by 3.1% in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the same period of 2019, expanding its growth by eight tenths compared to the previous quarter, according to provisional data from the Harmonized Labor Cost Index (ICLA) published this Wednesday by the National Institute of Statistics (INE). With the rebound in the October and December period, the labor cost has seen ten quarters of year-on-year increases.
By components, the salary cost increased by 2.3% in relation to the fourth quarter of 2019, while the other costs soared by 5.5%. The labor cost, excluding extraordinary payments and arrears, grew by 3.6% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Eliminating the seasonal and calendar effects, the labor cost per hour worked increased by 3.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the same period of 2019, in contrast to the annual growth of 2.8% that it experienced in the quarter previous. With this rebound, 14 quarters of positive rates are linked in the corrected series.
In a quarterly rate (fourth quarter of 2020 over the third quarter of the same year), the labor cost per hour worked increased by 1.4% in the series adjusted for seasonal and calendar effects, returning to positive rates after the drop of 4.3 % registered in the third quarter.
Disregarding both effects, labor cost rose 2.2% between October and December of the year past due, fundamentally, to the greater weight of extraordinary payments in relation to the third quarter.
According to the INE, the hotel industry continues to be the section of activity most affected by the crisis derived from the coronavirus. The decrease in the wage cost in this sector has been higher than the number of hours worked in the fourth quarter, resulting in a 4% salary decrease compared to the same quarter of 2019. For its part, the payment of part of the social security contributions and work disabilities, together with the reduction in the hours worked, caused the other costs to show an annual growth of 13.5%.
The sections that for the most part include activities considered essential, such as the supply of electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning, water supply, sanitation activities, waste management and decontamination, information and communications, financial and insurance activities, Public administration, education and health have been little affected by the current situation, according to Statistics.