10 June 2024

Harmonised Labour Cost Index (HLCI). Base 2020

First Quarter 2024. Provisional data

Main results

  • The cost per hour worked increased by 4.5% in the annual rate in the series adjusted for calendar and seasonal effects, and 7.5% in the original series.
  • The activity that recorded the greatest increase in the annual rate in adjusted data was Information and communications (7.2 %).
  • The quarterly variation in the cost per hour worked, after eliminating calendar and seasonal effects, was 0.8%.

The labour cost per hour worked, measured by the HLCI -keeping the structure by branches of activity constant- increased by 4.5% in the first quarter compared with the same period in the previous year, if seasonal and calendar effects are eliminated.

In unadjusted data, the annual variation of the cost per hour was 7.5%.

Variation of the general index and index adjusted for seasonal and calendar effects
Annual rate. Percentage

The wages cost per hour worked increased by 4.2% at an annual rate in data corrected for seasonality and calendar effects. This increase was half a point less than the total cost.

Meanwhile, other costs increased by 5.6%, almost one point above the total cost.

Harmonised Labour Cost Index. First quarter 2024
Index and annual rates by cost components

Results by activity sections

The activities with the highest annual rates this quarter, having eliminated seasonal and calendar effects, were Information and communications (7.2%), Other services (6.7%) and Professional, scientific and technical activities (6.3%).

The labour cost fell by Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply (-9.8 %), Real state activities (0.6 %) and Mining and quarrying industries (1.6 %).

Index adjusted for seasonal and calendar effects. Activity sections. First quarter 2024
Annual rate. Percentage

Quarterly rate evolution

The variation in the HCLI between the 1st quarter 2023 and 4th quarter 2024, eliminating the seasonality and calendar effects, was 0.8%.
Labour Cost Index adjusted for seasonal and calendar effects
Quaterly rate. Percentage

The quarterly wages rate deseasonalised and corrected for calendar effects was 0.8%, the same percentage of the total cost. On the other hand, other costs rose by 0.7%.

Excluding seasonal and calendar adjustment, the quarterly rate was -8.4% mainly due to the lower weight of extraordinary payments in this quarter compared to the previous one.

Harmonised Labour Cost Index. First quarter 2024
Index and quarterly rates by cost components

Revision and updating of data

INE has today updated the HCLI data for the fourth quarter 2023. All results are available on INEBase.

Methodological note

INE has today updated the HCLI data for the first quarter of 2024. All results are available on INEBase.

The Harmonised Labour Cost Index (HLCI) is a quarterly continuous statistical operation whose objective is to provide a common and comparable measure of labour cost per hour worked for the whole of the European Union, allowing the monitoring of the evolution of said labour costs.

Indices with base 2020 are provided for total labour costs, wages and salaries and other costs net of subsidies received for the use of labour factor (includes social contributions payable by employers and non-wage payments). The index for total labour cost is also provided excluding extraordinary payments and delayed payments.

Type of operation:
Statistics presented mainly in the form of indices.
Base year:
Population scope:
Employees in local units.
Sources of information:
The Quarterly Labour Cost Survey which is conducted on the basis of the Social Security contribution accounts. General Scheme: Sections B to S of CNAE-09 and Special Scheme for Seafarers: Sea Transport (Division 50 of CNAE-09). In order to cover all employees of the general government, information from the DARETRI file is used.
Geographical scope:
the entire national territory.
Reference period of the results:
the calendar quarter.
Calculation method:
Chained Laspeyres.

For more information, you can access the methodology and the standardised methodological report.

INE statistics are produced in accordance with the Code of Good Practice for European Statistics. More information in Quality in the INE and Code of Good Practices.

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