In the fourth quarter of 2020, the preliminary working-day adjusted Labour Cost Index (LCI) for the whole observed economy (sections B to S of ÖNACE 2008) rose by 11.6% compared to the previous year’s figure. This rise is created by increases in gross wages and salaries by 10.7% and in indirect labour costs by 14.4%, in each case per hour worked. In the third quarter of 2020 the working-day adjusted LCI went up by 0.2%.
Note: As a result of the corona pandemic, there have been corresponding reactions on the labour market since March 2020, such as company closures and short-time work, quarantine, recommendations on overtime and vacation reductions and others. In most economic sectors these reactions can be measured very quickly as fewer hours worked. However, the labour costs often remain at the same level, as the short-time working allowance (to reduce labour costs) is cleared with the Public Employment Service (AMS) with a delay. In addition, some employers bear the constant labour costs without short-time work allowance and/or there is no immediate or no reaction with dismissals. The mentioned AMS data are updated monthly and relate to subsidies granted a few months ago, so the index values for the current and previous quarters (third and fourth quarters of 2020) are considered as provisional.
In the manufacturing sector the labour costs per hour
worked changed between 0.1% and 5.4%. The highest increase of the LCI
was recorded in section B – mining and quarrying, here the LCI rose
In the manufacturing sector the working day adjusted
index excluding bonuses grew by 3.6% compared to the previous year’s
quarter. Thus, it increased slightly less than the index including bonuses
Info: Bonuses are defined as payments which are not paid in every remuneration period (e.g. 13th and 14th monthly pays, exceptional length-of-service awards) and voluntary severance pays (e.g. golden handshakes).
In general, the preliminary calculation showed a higher burden on employers in the services sector than in the manufacturing sector due to the corona pandemic.
In the economic section with most enterprises G – wholesale and retail
trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles the LCI increased
compared to the previous year’s quarter (wages and salaries
The working day adjusted index in sections O to S
went up by 15.1% (gross wages and salaries by
Info: Developments of the current and previous quarter are provisional and may be revised with the publication of the next quarter. In addition, each third quarter, the index values are revised up to the first quarter of the previous year due to the availability of final data.
Note: Currently sections H to N and P to S have no significant effect regarding working days; consequently, unadjusted series and working-day adjusted series will be identical until working-day adjustment will be possible.
Info: The calculation of the labour cost index is based on administrative data and statistical surveys; therefore, index values are subject to some random fluctuation. In the services sector this is mainly caused by fluctuations in the hours actually worked as collected by the microcensus labour force survey.
Results of the labour cost index in the EU member states and other participating countries (currently Norway and Turkey) are published by Eurostat in a publicly available database (‘Labour costs’ > ‘Labour cost index’ > ‘Labour cost index by NACE Rev. 2 activity - nominal value, quarterly data (lc_lci_r2_q)’).
Please consult our German website for tables containing further information.
|Results (overview): Labour Cost Index (working-day adjusted), whole economy (ÖNACE 2008 sections B to S)|
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