The hourly labor cost was 2.33 percent higher in Q1 2020 than in the previous quarter in workday-adjusted terms, and 10.2 percent more compared to the same quarter of 2019, shows data released on Thursday by the National Institute of Statistics (INS).
The workday-adjusted hourly labor cost decreased in most economic activities compared to the previous quarter, with the most significant decline registered in the production and supply of electricity and heat, gas, hot water and air conditioning (-6.98 pct), the mining industry (-3.44 pct), real estate transactions (-3.25 pct).
In a YoY comparison, the hourly labor cost (in workday-adjusted terms) was higher in Q1 2020 in all economic activities. The activity sectors to see the most significant increases in the hourly labor cost were entertainment, cultural and recreational activities (13.85 pct), the production and supply of electricity and heat, gas, hot water and air conditioning (12.67 pct), transport and storage (12.39 pct), and administrative and support services (11.06 pct).
The lowest increases in the hourly labor cost (in workday adjusted terms) were registered in professional, scientific and technical activities (2.96 pct), education (3.59 pct), health and social care (3.77 pct).
The increase from Q1 2019 in the direct labor (wage) expenditures was 10.12 pct, and that in the indirect costs component (non-wage) was 11.86 pct. Both the annual and the quarterly rise in the hourly labor cost were influenced by the halt of activity in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, as a result of less time worked, but also by the compensation of labor costs during the non-work period beginning this March, when the state of emergency was declared.