ECONOMY

Wage costs suffer biggest fall on record at end of last year

Sharpest declines were in public sector due to government’s austerity policies

Labor costs in Spain suffered their biggest decline at the end of last year when the country slipped back into recession for the second time in four years and unemployment rose to 26 percent, according to National Statistics Institute (INE) figures.

The INE said that after adjusting for seasonal effects and differences in the number of working days, the harmonized index of labor costs per hour declined 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter of last year from a year earlier. There have been only three falls registered in the index since the INE began compiling it and the drop in the final three months of 2012 was the biggest on record. The INE revised the figure for the third quarter to an increase of 0.5 percent from 0.4 percent.

Experts attribute the increase in Spanish exports last year to wage contention. The current account balance -- that is, the balance of operations in goods, services and transfers between Spain and the rest of the world -- has now turned positive. During the previous economic boom, Spain had the world’s largest current account deficit in the world after the United States.

The INE said the biggest falls in costs took place in the public administrations where they dropped 15.9 percent, and in the health and social services where they declined 10.4 percent as a result of the government’s austerity drive, which included salary and job cuts. Costs in education fell 4.0 percent.

By contrast, wage costs in mining and quarrying rose by 10.0 percent and by 9.4 percent in the supply of electricity, gas, steam and air-conditioning.

Para poder comentar debes estar registrado en Eskup y haber iniciado sesión

Darse de alta ¿Por qué darse de alta?

Otras noticias

Avatar
Journalist at El País English Edition

LATIN AMERICA

Mamá Rosa has dementia, says Prosecutor General

The 80-year-old founder of La Gran Familia no longer has the capacity to run the shelter

China and Cuba sign 29 cooperation agreements

Maye Primera Miami

Castro is working to attract foreign investment to jumpstart Cuban economy

Mexico ends 76-year-old state oil and gas monopoly

Opposition PRD threatens to use legal tools to force repeal of reform package that allows private and foreign investment

Ecuador takes on debt in order to grow

Country’s deficit exceeded $5 billion last year, five times more than in 2012

Lo más visto en...

» Top 50

Webs de PRISA

cerrar ventana