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Catalonia's labour costs drop by 0.4% in 2013 while they increase by 2.1% in Spain

Catalonia is the only Autonomous Community in Spain to have registered a decrease in wages, as it was also the only one to have public employees' Christmas payment – equivalent to a month’s salary – entirely eliminated in 2013, according to the latest Quarterly Labour Cost Survey issued by the Spanish Government. Hence, while Spanish wages have increased by 2.1% in 2013, the wages of Catalan employees have continued on a downward trend continued o, falling by 0.7% at the end of December 2013 compared to the last quarter of 2012. The average salary in Catalonia stood at €2,133 per month, returning to 2009 levels, when it had amounted to €2,119. Labour costs, which group the employee salary and social costs assumed by companies, have also fallen by 0.4% in annual terms in Catalonia whereas they were up by 2.1% in Spain.

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19 March 2014 08:42 PM

by

ACN

Madrid (ACN).- Catalonia is the only Autonomous Community in Spain to have registered a decrease in wages in 2013. Hence, while Spanish wages have increased by 2.1% in 2013, the wages of Catalan employees have continued on a downward trend, falling by 0.7% at the end of December 2013 compared to the last quarter of 2012. The reason is that Catalonia was also the only Autonomous Community to have public employees' Christmas payment – equivalent to a month’s salary – entirely eliminated in 2013, according to the latest Quarterly Labour Cost Survey issued by the Spanish Government. Traditionally in Spain, annual salaries are divided into 12 monthly payments plus 2 additional ones before Christmas and the summer holidays. In 2013, the average monthly salary in Catalonia stood at €2,133 (gross), returning to 2009 levels, when it had amounted to €2,119. Labour costs, which group the employee salary and social costs assumed by companies, have also fallen by 0.4% in annual terms in Catalonia whereas they were up by 2.1% in Spain.


Catalan labour costs have accumulated five quarters of decline (-0.7% in the fourth quarter of 2013, -0.3% in the third, -1.4% in the first and -1.2% in the fourth quarter of 2012), posting a 0.0% evolution in the second quarter of 2013.

2.1% increase in labour costs in Spain where workers received half of their Christmas payment

In the whole of Spain the total labour costs, including the wages received by the workers, the Social Security costs, compensations and other benefits assumed by companies for each worker, stood at €2,652.44 per month during the fourth quarter of 2013, representing a 2.1% increase on the same period in 2012.

The positive figure is due to the fact that during the fourth quarter of 2013, the Spanish workers received half of their bonus payment, which had been entirely eliminated in 2012, resulting in an increase in their wages. Catalonia, on the other hand, registered a 0.4% decrease because this additional payment was entirely cut for public employees both in 2012 and in 2013.

In Spain, the workers’ wages increased by 2.5%. The salary costs include base salary, supplements, payments for overtime and delays. In the Spanish case, if we exclude the variable factors for wages (overtime and delays) the ordinary salary costs would also have fallen by 0.3%.

The Spanish Institute of Statistics also indicates that non-wage compensations have fallen by 1.6% due to a reduction in the number of laid-off workers.

The holidays contributed to the drop in working hours

The average working week in the whole of Spain stood at 34.4 hours for the last quarter of 2013. If days off and extra hours are taken into account, the effective working week amounted to 29.6 hours. This figure is very low because of the many celebrations and holidays occurring during the fourth quarter of the year, due to the Christmas period and to the early December and early November holidays. In fact, bank holidays accounted for 46.8% of this decrease, the personal holidays for 23.3% and temporary disabilities for 17.5%.

Higher increase in labour costs for services

Services registered the highest increase in labour costs in Spain. In this sector, regular wages have dropped but bonuses have made up for it. In the industry sector, both regular wages and bonuses have increased, while compensation costs have fallen, with fewer laid-off workers.

Vacancies

The Quarterly Labour Cost Survey includes for the first time the number of vacancies, in accordance with European rules on statistics. Such a figure, which includes jobs that will be needed in the short term and positions that have been vacant during the quarter, amounted to 54,000 in the whole of Spain. Out of these, 85.7% were in the service sector and just over 10% in the industrial one. The vast majority of companies stated to the Spanish Institute of Statistics that they didn’t have any vacancies for the fourth quarter

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  • A factory in Catalonia (by ACN)

  • A factory in Catalonia (by ACN)