The labor cost of companies rises 4.7% in the first quarter | Economy

A worker at a car manufacturing plant.
A worker at a car manufacturing plant.SKODA (SKODA)

The labor cost per worker and month grew again at the beginning of 2022 and has already risen for five quarters. In the first three months of the year it rose 4.7% compared to the same period in 2021, reaching 2,729 euros. The salary cost, for its part, rose by 5.2% in annual rate: it went from 1,907 to 2,006 euros per worker and month, surpassing for the first time the barrier of 2,000 euros in a first quarter, according to the quarterly cost survey published this Thursday by the National Institute of Statistics (INE). The number of vacancies stood at its highest level since 2013.

The statistical body highlights that the rise in labor costs (which includes salaries and social security contributions) is explained by the greater number of hours actually worked in the quarter (+4.7%). This result is, in turn, a consequence of the decrease in hours not worked due to the holidays enjoyed and, above all, by the decrease in hours not worked due to technical, economic, organizational and production reasons and force majeure (includes workers affected by a temporary employment regulation file or ERTE), which compensated for the increase in hours not worked due to vacations and sick leave due to disability.

By communities, the labor cost in Madrid and the Basque Country exceeded the national average by more than 400 euros. In Extremadura and the Canary Islands, this cost is lower than the average by the same amount. Considering the annual growth of the cost, the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands and La Rioja present the highest rates. On the contrary, Navarra, Cantabria and Murcia recorded the smallest increases.

wage hike

The salary cost includes base salary, salary supplements, payments for overtime, extraordinary payments and late payments, measured in gross terms. Between January and March, wages (all remuneration, both in cash and in kind) rose by 5.2% year-on-year in gross terms, reaching an average of 2,006.61 euros per worker and month, exceeding for the first time the 2,000 euros in the first quarter since the beginning of the series, in the year 2000.

The average salary in the hospitality industry shot up 67.8% year-on-year in the first quarter, reaching 1,150.73 euros per month per worker. They are 50 euros more per month than in the first quarter of 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic broke out. On the other hand, the extractive industries and the Supply of electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning sectors recorded negative rates.

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Record number of vacancies

In the first quarter of 2022, the number of vacancies reached 133,988 positions, the highest figure since 2013. Of this figure, 88.9% is in the services sector (119,064).

The communities with the highest number of vacancies in the first quarter are Catalonia, Community of Madrid and Andalusia. For their part, those with the least are Cantabria, La Rioja and Extremadura. If the percentage distribution is considered, Catalonia, the Community of Madrid and Andalusia concentrate more than 56% of the total vacancies in the first quarter of this year.

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