Changes in labour costs in the 1st quarter of 2008
According to the seasonally adjusted data1) of the Central Statistical Bureau, compared to the 4th quarter of previous year, in the 1st quarter of 2008 hourly labour costs in the country2) increased by 6.3%, but compared to the 1st quarter of previous year – by 30.2%.
Changes of hourly labour costs in comparison with the corresponding quarter of previous year, %
Compared to the fourth quarter of previous year, the highest increase of hourly labour costs in the first quarter of this year was recorded in financial intermediation – 21.4%, and in real estate, renting and business activities – 13.5%. This rapid increase in the field of financial intermediation may be explained with the fact that in the 1st quarter of this year much higher bonuses were paid – growth of regular hourly labour costs constituted only 6.5%.
In other economic activities growth of hourly labour costs varies between 3.0% in electricity, gas and water supply to 9.6% in construction.
Compared to the first quarter of previous year, the highest increase of hourly labour costs in the first quarter of this year, according to seasonally adjusted data, was recorded in education – 38.0%, construction – 37.5%, and in real estate, renting and business activities – 36.5%. But the lowest growth was observed in electricity, gas and water supply - 12.7%.
Changes of hourly labour costs in the 1st quarter of 2008 by main kind of economic activity (seasonally adjusted data)
Changes as % of
Total (C – O)
Industry – total (CDE)
mining and quarrying (C)
electricity, gas and water supply (E)
Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and personal and household goods (G)
Hotels and restaurants (H)
Transport, storage and communications (I)
Financial intermediation (J)
Real estate, renting and business activities (K)
Public administration and defence; compulsory social security (L)
Health and social work (N)
Other community, social and personal service activities (O)
The highest hourly labour costs (seasonally unadjusted data) in the 1st quarter of this year were in financial intermediation - 8.94 lats, in public administration – 5.24 lats, and in electricity, gas and water supply - 5.11 lats.
But the lowest labour costs were in the field of hotels and restaurants - 2.29 lats per hour, that comprises only 62% of average labour costs in the country, as well as, in trade - 3.05% lats per hour, and in the sphere of other community, social and personal service activities - 3.15 lats per hour.
Hourly labour costs by main kind of economic activity in the 1st quarter of 2007 and 1st quarter of 2008 (lats, seasonally unadjusted data)
C Mining and quarrying;
E Electricity, gas and water supply;
G Trade; repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles, personal, household goods;
H Hotels and restaurants;
I Transport, storage and communication;
J Financial intermediation;
K Commercial services;
L Public administration and defence;
N Health and social work;
O Other community, social and personal service activities.
1) Influence of seasonality and varying number of working days has been averted.
2) Agriculture, forestry and fishing is not included.
Hourly labour costs are calculated dividing the sum of labour costs with number of hours actually worked.
Both seasonally adjusted and seasonally unadjusted data are available in the data base of the Central Statistical Bureau.
Prepared by Wages Statistics Section