Labour cost index (lci)

National Reference Metadata in ESS Standard for Quality Reports Structure (ESQRS)

Compiling agency: Instituto Nacional de Estadística de España (INE).

Time Dimension: 2018-A0

Data Provider: ES1

Data Flow: LCI_ESQRS_A


Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Statistical presentation
3. Statistical processing
4. Quality management
5. Relevance
6. Accuracy and reliability
7. Timeliness and punctuality
8. Coherence and comparability
9. Accessibility and clarity
10. Cost and Burden
11. Confidentiality
12. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)
 



For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT

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1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Instituto Nacional de Estadística de España (INE).

1.2. Contact organisation unit

Labour Market Statistics Directorate

1.5. Contact mail address

Paseo de la Castellana 183
28046 Madrid
Spain


2. Statistical presentation Top
2.1. Data description

The harmonised labour cost index is a Laspeyres Index of the labour cost per hour worked, linked annually and based on a fixed structure of the economic activity broken down by sections of the CNAE-09.

All necessary information to elaborate the Labour Cost Index (LCI) is provided by the Quarterly Labour Cost Survey (QLCS) except for section O, Public Administration, where the QLCS should be completed with administrative information.
The QLCS is a short-term statistic whose main objective is to know the evolution of the average labour cost per employee and per worked hour . The methodology of the survey and the way of calculating the LCI have not changed. A brief description could be consulted in the first quality report for the LCI (August 2004).The sample is composed of around 28.000 units that they will be interviewed each quarter.


The QLCS covers all employees registered under the Social Security General Scheme, but career civil servants in Central Government, armed forces personnel and justice and Parliament officials come under the State Employee Pension Scheme and, therefore they are out of the scope of the QLCS. Administrative files named DARETRI (‘datos de retribuciones’ – compensation data) system are used to obtain the labour costs of these public employees (see item 6.3.5)

2.2. Classification system

Data is broken down by economic activities defined by NACE Rev. 2 sections.

Labour costs indices are provided separately for the following four categories:

  • Total labour costs
  • Wages and salaries
  • Other costs
  • Total labour costs excluding bonuses
2.3. Coverage - sector

The activities covered are NACE Rev. 2. Sections B to S.
All size classes are covered.

2.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

The Labour cost is the total quarterly cost incurred by the employer for using the work factor.
The cost should be measured in net terms for the employer, in other words, deducting the different subsidies received.

 The Labour Cost comprises a large set of items that the survey includes in two main blocks: Cost of Wages and Other Costs.

 The total wage cost comprises all remunerations, both in cash and in kind, made to employees for the performance of their work services for others, whether it rewards effective work, whatever the method of remuneration, or the rest periods accounted for as work.
Consequently, the Wage Cost includes the base wage, wage supplements, overtime payments, bonuses and arrears.
All these components are considered in gross terms, i.e. before deductions or payments to Social Security on behalf of the employee.

 Other Costs include Non-Wage Payments and obligatory Social Security Contributions;
Non-Wage Payments are remunerations received by the employees not for their work activity, but rather as compensation for expenses resulting from carrying out their work or to cover needs or situations of inactivity not attributable to the worker. They include direct corporate contributions (payments for temporary incapacity, unemployment, indemnities for dismissal etc.), compensation payments (currency devaluation, wear and tear of tools, acquisition of work clothes, distance and urban transport allowance, relocation indemnities, contract termination indemnities etc.) and other non-wage payments.
Obligatory Social Security Contributions are legally established contributions that employers make to the Social Security System in favour of their employees to cover the benefits set up by the system and which are those derived from illness, maternity, work accident, disability, retirement, family, survival, unemployment, vocational training, wage guarantee or any other contingency covered by the Social Security System.

 Effective hours of work are the hours that were actually worked, during both normal working hours and overtime hours. They are obtained as the sum of agreed hours, plus overtime and/or complementary hours, minus hours not worked, from which are excluded hours lost in the workplace, since they are considered working hours.

2.5. Statistical unit

The unit used is the "account of contributions". It is an administrative concept that companies use to pay the social contributions of their employees and usually coincide with the local unit.

2.6. Statistical population

The population scope is formed by all local units, irrespective of their size, whose economic activity is classified in Sections B to S of the CNAE-09. It excludes agricultural, livestock and fishing activities, domestic personnel and extraterritorial bodies.

2.7. Reference area

The geographic area includes the whole national territory (including Canary Island, Balearic Island and Ceuta and Melilla).

2.8. Coverage - Time

For the temporal scope, the reference period is the calendar quarter.

2.9. Base period

The base period is the year 2012.


3. Statistical processing Top
3.1. Source data

The main source is the Quarterly Labour Cost Survey (QLCS). It is a sample survey. The population is formed by all employees working for an employer. The framework used for the selection is the General Register of Accounts of Social Security Contributions, held by the Ministry of Employment and Social Security. An Account of Social Security Contribution is an administrative concept that companies use to pay the social contributions of their employees and usually coincides with the local unit.

The procedure for random selection of units corresponds to stratified sampling with optimal allocation, in which the sampling units are the accounts.

The stratification criterion is accomplished attending to three variables: Autonomous Community (17 regions), the economic activity (division level of NACE rev.2, from B to S) and eight size intervals. The size of the unit is the number of employees in the unit. 

The following groups are considered for the stratification:

1.         1-4 employees

2.         5-9 employees

3.         10-19 employees

4.         20-49 employees

5.         50-99 employees

6.         100-199 employees

7.         200-499 employees

8.         500 and more employees

 

The stratum eighth was researched exhaustively.

Within each stratum, the units are selected through systematic sampling with random start.

The sample is composed of around 28.000 units that they will be interviewed each quarter. The total sample is split into five groups of rotation so that in the first quarter of each year the oldest group is replaced such that one-fifth of the sample is replaced.

An exception is made for the units in the exhaustive strata (units of more than 500 employees and those belonging to strata so small that their sampling size necessarily coincides with the population), that are not renovated unless they cease to exist. These units account for 28% of the sample.

There is only one questionnaire format for the whole survey population. The questionnaire is revised periodically. It changes when the labour legislation makes it necessary. No changes are currently planned.

The survey is carried out by postal questionnaire, web questionnaire, etc.

Separate ratio estimators are used based on the number of employees in the Register of Accounts of Social Security Contributions as the auxiliary variable.

The DARETRI system: DARETRI was created by Order PRE/390/2002 of 22 February 2002. Its purpose is to collect pay data on Central Government public-sector employees. The DARETRI system captures automatically the compensation data contemplated under articles 11 to 15 of chapter 1 of the State Expenditure Budget. Therefore, the bodies and units in charge of making up payrolls compile a file called F-DARETRI to provide data on the personnel within their remit.

By the 5th of every month, Ministry departments and the autonomous bodies must send the F-DARETRI files compiled by the units in charge of making up the relevant payrolls to provide data on the preceding month. So there are monthly data for the employees not covered by the survey.

3.2. Frequency of data collection

The QLCS  conducted quarterly. The reference period for the information requested in the questionnaire is a month. However, the reference for the results is the quarter. The sample is distributed among the months of the quarter and the estimates are calculated as the average of the whole quarter.

There are monthly data from DARETRI System.

3.3. Data collection

The survey is carried out by postal questionnaire, web questionnaire, etc. The main method used by respondents is the Web-based questionnaire. The enterprise receives a letter the first time that it is interviewed with the username and the password to access to the web site and then it could fill in the questionnaire directly field by field or upload the XML file. There is a minimal validation process to consider the questionnaire sent and the process ended. The following times INE sends an email  to the respondent reminding the contacts and the survey  to be filled.

There is a free telephone number in the letter to contact with INE where the respondents could ask all their doubts and also request an excel questionnaire and email address to send it.

The sample is composed of around 28.000 units that they will be interviewed each quarter.The sample is distributed in three monthly sub-samples during the quarter, such that the first sub-sample is always interviewed in the first month of each quarter, the second sub-sample is interviewed in the second month of each quarter and the third sub-sample in the last month of each quarter. This way, each unit is interviewed for only four times a year instead of every month reducing the burden of the informants and distributing the monthly workload of INE provincial offices .
At  the end of the quarter data collected over the 3 months is aggregated to assess both costs and hours per employee per month during the reference quarter .

The DARETRI system: DARETRI was created by Order PRE/390/2002 of 22 February 2002. Its purpose is to collect pay data on Central Government public-sector employees. The DARETRI system captures automatically the compensation data contemplated under articles 11 to 15 of chapter 1 of the State Expenditure Budget. Therefore, the bodies and units in charge of making up payrolls compile a file called F-DARETRI to provide data on the personnel within their remit.

By the 5th of every month, Ministry departments and the autonomous bodies must send the F-DARETRI files compiled by the units in charge of making up the relevant payrolls to provide data on the preceding month.

The unit in charge of this system collects  all the files and validates the figures. The fisrt day of the motnh t+2 sends the Daretri file of month t to INE.

3.4. Data validation

The process of carrying out the statistics has established controls to detect and correct errors in order to ensure the quality of it since the beginning of the process. The collection, recording and validation phases are key development stages of any statistical research. The collection of questionnaires and the recording thereof are carried out in the provincial offices of the INE .

Before processing the information is carried out a comprehensive control over the data provided by the reporting units to ensure their validity .

The received data are double-inspected:

- A first debugging, is made simultaneously with the recording in the provincial offices to detect incomplete and erroneous questionnaires and ensure the consistency of the recorded data.
- A second control is made in the central office in order to avoid inconsistencies between related variables and time-series combined.

In any case, if something wrong or inconsistent data is found , the responsible provincial office of the questionnaire established telephone contact with the informant to clarify information .

Overall debugging focuses on the following aspects:

  • Detect incomplete questionnaires: partial non-response is not allowed.
  • Ensure consistency of data: The data must respect the legal limits in terms of working hours, minimum wages, etc. .. On the other hand , the questionnaire is divided into five distinct blocks but closely interrelated among which should be some consistency. Thus, for example, quesionnaires with overtime data are not supported without overtime payments; there can not be dismissed workers and not include his compensation, nor vice versa;etc.
  • Ensure the temporal coherence of the main study variables: The aim is to identify possible errors in the data by comparing the evolution of the  main variables in previous quarters.
3.5. Data compilation

In cases of empty units (produced either by incident or by non-response) imputations of questionnaires are made to increase the quality of quarterly estimates. Two methods are used:

  • The application of the wage rise established in collective agreements to those questionnaires with response in the same quarter of the previous year.
  • The imputation of the average value in the strata to those units that never have responded.

Partial non-response is not allowed.

To obtain grossing-up estimations separate ratio estimators are used based on the number of employees in the Register of Accounts of Social Security Contributions as the auxiliary variable.

Once the data are estimated, the index is calculated from the results obtained from the survey.

3.6. Adjustment

In order to allow a full interpretation of the results, the series of indices are obtained in the following ways:

a) gross Series: the original series, unadjusted.

b) calendar adjusted series: the series adjusted for working days (including the Easter effect )

c) calendar and seasonally adjusted series: the series is corrected both calendar and periodic or seasonal effects (bonuses, holidays, ...).

 

The seasonal adjustment of these indicators has been performed according to standard of INE to correct for seasonal and calendar effects in short-term series that is available in the methods and standards of the INE website section. This standard is the result of the working group of the INE Seasonal adjustment and  follows the recommendations of the European Union listed in ESS guidelines on seasonal adjustment.

The method is based on regression models with the intervention of variables using TRAMO SEATS program. The models are fixed and revised each year before sending the first quarter. The parameters are adjusted each quarter.

The method used to obtain the adjusted series for the totals is the indirect approach.


4. Quality management Top
4.1. Quality assurance

Quality assurance framework for the INE statistics is based on the ESSCoP, the European Statistics Code of Practice made by EUROSTAT. The ESSCoP is made up of 15 principles, gathered in three areas: Institutional Environment, Processes and Products. Each principle is associated with some indicators which make possible to measure it. In order to evaluate quality, EUROSTAT provides different tools: the indicators mentioned above, Self-assessment based on the DESAP model, peer review, user satisfaction surveys and other proceedings for evaluation.

4.2. Quality management - assessment

The Quarterly Labour Cost Survey  is a high quality product. The sample size offers labour cost indicators within a reasonable sampling errors. The harmonized methodology used allows international comparisons with a high level of solvency and provides an invaluable measure of the evolution of labour costs.

As for the limitations of the survey should be pointed out the inherent to the sampling statistical operations such as non-response rates and the aforementioned sampling errors or variation coefficients of the estimates. In both cases are kept within reasonable limits. Detailed information on sampling errors is provided periodically  in the tables of results published in INEBASE.


5. Relevance Top
5.1. Relevance - User Needs

The main users could be classified in the following groups:

  • International Organisations: European Union Institutions, OECD, International Monetary Fund, International Labour Organisation, etc.
  • Public Organisms: different Ministries such as the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Employment and Social Security, etc.; the National Statistical Institute itself for several of its units, such as National Accounts; the Bank of Spain; Regional Institutions, etc.
  • Social Institutions such as trade unions, employers’ organisations, political parties,...
  • Research Centres and Universities
  • The media

Each of these users have different needs depending on the destination and usefulness of the information they need. Specifically, changes in labor costs per hour worked is an important indicator for analyzing the short and medium term economic developments. The Commission and the European Central Bank use the Labour Costs Index, which shows the short-term evolution of labour costs, to assess the potential inflationary pressures due to the evolution of labour in the labour market .

5.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

The INE has carried out general user satisfaction surveys in 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 and it plans to continue doing so every three years. The purpose of these surveys is to find out what users think about the quality of the information of the INE statistics and the extent to which their needs of information are covered. In addition, additional surveys are carried out in order to acknowledge better other fields such as dissemination of the information, quality of some publications...

In the user satisfaction survey conducted in 2016, which can be consulted on the website of INE in the category of Quality -> Quality Management -> System evaluation and quality monitoring -> User surveys , you can see the evaluation of "labor market" group in which it is framed this statistical operation . This can give us indications of user opinions of this statistical operation.

In general, these users are satisfied. Nevertheless they consider that the survey should have a bigger sample size to offer more detailed breakdown of some variables (in particular of regions, branch of activity and cost components).

5.3. Completeness

The QLCS meets all requirements established by national and international regulations related to labour costs statistics aimed at local units or enterprises.

As the main source of information to produce the Labour Cost Index (LCI), is subject to the regulation of this statistical operation (Reg. 450/2003).

The DARETRI system: DARETRI was created by Order PRE/390/2002 of 22 February 2002. Its purpose is to collect pay data on Central Government public-sector employees. The DARETRI system captures automatically the compensation data contemplated under articles 11 to 15 of chapter 1 of the State Expenditure Budget. Therefore, the bodies and units in charge of making up payrolls compile a file called F-DARETRI to provide data on the personnel within their remit.

By the 5th of every month, Ministry departments and the autonomous bodies must send the F-DARETRI files compiled by the units in charge of making up the relevant payrolls to provide data on the preceeding month. So there are monthly data for the employees not covered by the survey.

5.3.1. Data completeness - rate

100%


6. Accuracy and reliability Top

The statistical accuracy and reliability is determined by the accuracy and reliability of the sources of information used in preparing the LCI: the Quarterly Labour Cost Survey (QLCS) and DARETRI file .

6.1. Accuracy - overall

The design of the sample attempts to minimize sampling errors and the various processes of the survey are intended to eliminate or reduce as far as possible the errors both in the collection phase (response rate and debugging control) and in subsequent stages of editing and imputation.

The administrative source used to obtain data on public employees under the State Employee Pension Scheme includes full information about these employees.

6.2. Sampling error

The calculation of the coefficients of variation of key variables is performed in each survey implementation and disseminated in the publication of their results and the successive quality reports.

6.2.1. Sampling error - indicators

A link with the Quarterly Labour Cost Survey sampling errors estimations is included in the annex.



Annexes:
Sampling errors
6.3. Non-sampling error

A control of non-sampling errors is performed in every statistical process. It also has specific information on the non-response rate.

6.3.1. Coverage error

The study population consists on all employees who work for an employer during the reference month of the survey. The framework used for the sample selection was the General Register of Accounts of Social Security Contributions, held by the Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs. When the Register is received from the Social Security, a first debugging is made prior to the selection of the sample, which implies several stages:

- To eliminate economic activities regarding agricultural activities, livestock, fishery, households with domestic employees and extra-territorial organisms since these are not part of the survey.

- To eliminate the units that belong to the special regime of Social Security sales agents, whose main compensation consists in commissions on sales and who, consequently cannot be surveyed either.

After this, the sample is selected and the questionnaires are sent to the selected units; the data collection and debugging stages reveal the errors in the surveyed units.

Several tables are included as an annex :

1. A table showing the percentage of the employees represented in the sample(s)/register(s) based on the number of employees according to ESA. The source used to obtain the employees according to ESA is the Quarterly National Accounts are the annual average of the four quarters of 2018 of the number of employees by groups of sections of NACE rev.2. The breakdown could be showed in the  table 1 in the annex.

           Taking into account the following observations:

  • The LCI does not include activities such as agriculture and private households with employed persons that are included in QNA.
  • The QNA data are full-time equivalent jobs but the number of employees in the sample is without this adjustment.

           The coverage of the employees represented by the sample based on the number of employees according to ESA for year 2018 is about 30% (The breakdown could be showed in the table 2 in the annex).

2. It is also compared the number of local units and the number of employees in the reference population and in the QLCS sample in 2017.

           The population is obtained from the General Register of Accounts of Social Security Contributions, taking into account the units classified under the industries covered by the survey (sections B-S).

           The table provides:

  • A comparison of the number of local units in the sample with the number of the units in the register classified by section of Nace rev.2 (the sampling rate).
  • A comparison of the number of employees in the sample with the number of employees in the register classified by section of Nace rev.2.


Annexes:
Coverage 2018
6.3.1.1. Over-coverage - rate

Data collection for  2018 showed that 3.6% in average of the units were inactive or closed . Only 0.5% were erroneously included units. All these units are replaced by others that belong to the same stratum in the next quarter survey. A 1.0% showed no activity during the month surveyed but remain in the sample since they can be units with seasonal activities.

6.3.1.2. Common units - proportion

The sample is composed of around 28.000 units that they will be interviewed each quarter. The total sample is split into five groups of rotation so that in the first quarter of each year the oldest group is replaced such that one-fifth of the sample is replaced.

An exception is made for the units in the exhaustive strata (units of more than 500 employees and those belonging to strata so small that their sampling size necessarily coincides with the population), that are not renovated unless they cease to exist. These units account for 28% of the sample.

6.3.2. Measurement error

The questionnaire has been elaborated approaching the required information to documents (payslips and social contributions bulletins) that the employer must fill in in relation to their employees. This way the answer is easier to the informants.

Debugging errors:

This first debugging consists in using filters referring to errors that allow separating valid questionnaires from those with inconsistencies to be revised.

The filters are of two kinds: those detecting type I and type II errors.

Type I errors:

If they are not thoroughly corrected, the questionnaire cannot be considered as valid.

Type II errors:

They affect norms that have to be complied with towards the coherence of the data. The non-satisfaction of these norms does not necessarily mean that the questionnaire is not valid, but it should be explained why an error is stated. In cases of doubts, a telephone call is made to the respondent for him to elucidate them. There are more than 200 rules that are checked in each questionnaire.

6.3.3. Non response error

See next points

6.3.3.1. Unit non-response - rate

The average non-response for year 2018 has been 9,8%

6.3.3.2. Item non-response - rate

It is not allowed by the collect procedure. All the variables are inter-related by validation criteria and a system of filters is available to assure the questionnaire’s internal consistency and to prevent the lack of essential data. The omitted data are requested again to the informant.

6.3.4. Processing error

See next points

6.3.4.1. Imputation - rate

There are two cases:

  • If the questionnaire of the local unit for the same quarter of the previous year is available, it is imputed the same number of employees, the same number of hours worked and the cost variables of the previous year (except the payments to employees leaving the enterprise) updated according to the pay rise agreed in the collective agreements (the pay rises are obtained from the Collective Agreements Statistic elaborated monthly by the Ministry of Labor, Migration and Social Security).
  • If the questionnaire of the local unit for the same quarter of the previous year is not available, it is computed the value of each variable per employee obtained from the total of units that have responded in the stratum (set of units with the same number of employees) of the empty unit. These values are multiplied by the number of employees in the missing unit and, finally, assigned to it.

For example, to impute the value of total payroll for the non-response unit, it is calculated the total payroll per employee obtained in the stratum of that unit and multiplied the resulting figure by the number of employees in the unit.

The average imputation rate for year 2018 has been 5.0%

6.3.5. Model assumption error

Estimation procedure for section O

The QLCS as said above provides full information to elaborate the LCI for sections B to S, except section O that is partly covered by the survey. It is necessary to combine information to obtain the LCI for section O:

1. The figures for public employees under the Social Security General Scheme come from the QLCS as the rest of the sections.

2. To estimate the labour cost and its components for public sector employees under the State Employee Pension Scheme are used the following sources:

      • The DARETRI file, to obtain total wages and salaries and employee numbers under the Scheme.
      • The Labour Force Survey, to obtain hours worked per employee in section O.
      • The Central Government Office of the Controller’s figures on Budget execution to obtain the Central Government’s allocations to the State Employee Pension Scheme and thus estimate imputed social contributions.
      • The rules in force every quarter and staff numbers obtained from the DARETRI dataset to estimate the employers’ actual social contributions

3. The aggregation of both sets of data as a weighted average of 1+2 using the number of employees as a weight.

6.4. Seasonal adjustment

In order to allow a full interpretation of the results, the series of indices are obtained in the following ways:

a) gross Series: the original series, unadjusted.

b) calendar adjusted series: the series adjusted for working days (including the Easter effect )

c) calendar and seasonally adjusted series: the series is corrected both calendar and periodic or seasonal effects (bonuses, holidays, ...).

 

The seasonal adjustment of these indicators has been performed according to standard of INE to correct for seasonal and calendar effects in short-term series that is available in the methods and standards of the INE website section. This standard is the result of the working group of the INE Seasonal adjustment and  follows the recommendations of the European Union listed in ESS guidelines on seasonal adjustment.

The method is based on regression models with the intervention of variables using TRAMO SEATS program. The models are fixed and revised each year before sending the first quarter. The parameters are adjusted each quarter.

The method used to obtain the adjusted series for the totals is the indirect approach.



Annexes:
Standard for adjusting seasonal and calendar effects in short-term series
6.5. Data revision - policy

Advance notice of major changes in methodology expected to take place during a particular year is given in the annual publication " Programa Anual del Instituto Nacional de Estadística" (in Spanish), which is published in the last quarter of the previous year.

The LCI provisional data for a quarter is published (and sent to EUROSTAT) 70 days after the reference period. It is revised and published as final data with the release of the provisional data of next quarter.

See next points

6.6. Data revision - practice

The introduction of one revision has been necessary because the first calculation of LCI is based on provisional data from the QLCS. The checking, validation and debugging processes have not finished and those questionnaires with "rare responses" pending the confirmation from the enterprises are imputed.

80 days after the reference period the QLCS is published and the LCI recalculated with their final data producing the revision of the LCI. This revision is sent with the provisional data of next quarter. So, there is only one revision for each quarter except during 2009 due to the implementation of NACE rev.2 (see 2009  quality report).

6.6.1. Data revision - average size

The average size of revisions,  being the revision the difference between the final and provisional estimate for 2018 for the total labour cost has been 0.0.

A table showing the revisions in the published year-on-year growth rates for total labour costs using the unadjusted series, for the last 16 quarters brokendown by sections of Nace Rev.2 is included in the annex; as it can be observed from the table,  not always the revision produce a new data and most of revisions are lesser than one porcentual point.



Annexes:
Revision history


7. Timeliness and punctuality Top
7.1. Timeliness

2018Q1: t+ 69 days

2018Q2: t+ 69 days

2018Q3: t+ 66 days

2017Q4: t+ 67 days

7.1.1. Time lag - first result

t+70 days

7.1.2. Time lag - final result

The final result for quarter t is published in t+160 days

7.2. Punctuality

The results of the LCI are published according to Short-term Statistics Availability Calendar of INE.
Each publication has been released on the date announced in the calendar.



Annexes:
Statistics availability calendar
7.2.1. Punctuality - delivery and publication

The results of the LCI are published according to Short-term Statistics Availability Calendar of INE.
Each publication has been released on the date announced in the calendar.


8. Coherence and comparability Top
8.1. Comparability - geographical

Regarding the international comparability of the survey, the methodology follows the concepts and definitions of Regulation (EC) No 450/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 February 2003 concerning the labour cost index which provides statistical homogeneity with other European Union countries that broadcast this same information.

8.1.1. Asymmetry for mirror flow statistics - coefficient

Optional

8.2. Comparability - over time

The results broken down by sections and divisions of NACE-2 are comparable in time since 2000.

8.2.1. Length of comparable time series

The results broken down by sections of the NACE-Rev.2. are comparable over time since 2000. For total economic activities must take into account that NACE section O- is collected since 2006 .

Thus the number of elements of the comparable time series is 76.

8.3. Coherence - cross domain

The use of a single national classification of economic activities allows the possibility to compare the information with other economic statistics on common variables such as National Accounts.

Comparability over NACE sections

8.4. Coherence - sub annual and annual statistics

Since 2001, an annual survey is conducted to obtain annual data. This survey with reference period year t, is collected during three consecutive months of the year t+1 jointly with the Quarterly Labour Cost Survey, adding an annual questionnaire to the quarterly ones. This way, short-term data are adjusted with the annual questionnaire to obtain annual data and the coherence between short term and structural data is assured

8.5. Coherence - National Accounts

The Regulation Nº 1216/2003 says that this point has to include " a graph and a table showing annual unadjusted growth rates of the total labour cost index (NACE Rev. 1 sections) and of the ESA 95 compensation of employees per hour worked (A6 breakdown) with explanations for the differences in the growth rates for the last 12 quarters;”

Data available from Quarterly National Accounts (QNA) are not broken down by NACE Rev.2 sections. In order to do the comparison an approximate correspondence between the breakdown of QNA and LCI series has been set as follows:

  1. QNA sections B to E NACE Rev.2 ~ LCI sections B to E NACE Rev.2
  2. QNA section F in NACE Rev.2 ~ LCI section F in NACE Rev.2
  3. QNA sections G to J NACE Rev.2 ~ LCI sections G to J NACE Rev.2
  4. QNA sections K to N NACE Rev.2 ~ LCI sections K to N NACE Rev.2
  5. QNA sections O to T NACE Rev.2 ~ LCI sections O to S NACE Rev.2
  6. QNA Total activities except agriculture and fishing ~ LCI sections B to S NACE Rev.2

In general, both series have a similar trend in time. The LCI seems to have sharper movements specially related to the Easter effects. The tables and graphs are included as an annex.



Annexes:
Coherence National Accounts
8.6. Coherence - internal

Estimates of the labour cost variables  and hours worked have complete internal consistency as they are based on the same corpus of microdata and administrative data. Moreover, they are calculated using the same methods of estimation.


9. Accessibility and clarity Top
9.1. Dissemination format - News release

The LCI is published quarterly according to the Short-term Statistics Availability Calendar of the INE. An advance release calendar which gives at least one-quarter-ahead notice of the precise release dates is disseminated on INE Internet website (http://www.ine.es).

The main results of the survey, the series of Total Labour cost, wage costs, other labour costs  are disseminated in a special release with a brief explanation of the results each quarter. The very detailed set of series is disseminated without explanation.

The data are available on INE web site and are free of charge.



Annexes:
LCI National press release
9.2. Dissemination format - Publications

Users can access to QLCS and LCI data via the INE website. Specifically, the following information is available:

  • Press Release and Main Results: A summary of the results of the reference quarter.
  • Main series from quarter 1Q/2000: The main series since the start of the survey.
  • Series calendar and seasonally adjusted  of the main series for the total economy (total labour cost per employee and per worked hour, wages and salaries per employee and per worked hour and other costs per employee and per worked hour).
  • Quarterly Series from quarter 1Q/2008: series in NACE- 2.
  • Back cast estimates 2000-2007. Base 2008: In order to provide time series of labor costs with a lenght sufficient to allow for analysis have been developed retrospective series in NACE -2 at section level of activity since 2000.
  • Publications "on line" contain information form QLCS and LCI as "Spain in figures", "Statistical Yearbook of Spain", "Monthly Statistical Bulletin", etc. .


Annexes:
INE website
9.3. Dissemination format - online database

INEbase is the system used to store and disseminate at INE Website all statistical information. It contains all the information produced by the INE in electronic format. It is organized basically following the thematic classification of the Inventory of Statistical Operations of the State General Administration. The basic unit is the statistical operation, defined as the set of activities that lead to the collection of statistics for a particular sector or theme, from data collected individually.

Data from QLCS and LCI are in INEbase.



Annexes:
Online database
9.3.1. Data tables - consultations

Optional

9.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Optional

9.5. Dissemination format - other

Customised information must be requested in the Information Area, clearly indicating the details of the contact person (name, postal address, telephone, fax and e-mail, if you have one), and detailing as much as possible the information that you require.

Requests will pass through a viability analysis process, programming and subsequent verification that the data obtained safeguard statistical secrecy and are representative.



Annexes:
Customised requests
9.6. Documentation on methodology

The methodology of the LCI is published with the data on the INE Internet website.



Annexes:
LCI Methodology
9.7. Quality management - documentation

The statistics are prepared in accordance with EU guidelines in order to meet the Code of Practice implemented by Eurostat, following the quality criteria on relevance, accuracy, timeliness and punctuality, accessibility and clarity, comparability, consistency, and completeness (along this report).

9.7.1. Metadata completeness - rate

100%

9.7.2. Metadata - consultations

Optional


10. Cost and Burden Top

The LCI is elaborated using already existing information. Its main source of information is the Quarterly Labour cost survey. There are several tasks to minimize the cost and burden:

In order to achieve a balance between  sample stability and the informants burden in the QLCS are carried out the following actions:

- Distribution of the sample in three monthly sub-samples during the quarter:

The sample is distributed in three monthly sub-samples during the quarter, such that the first sub-sample is  interviewed every first month in each quarter, the second sub-sample is interviewed every second month in each quarter and the third sub-sample every last month in each quarter. This way, each unit is interviewed for only four times a year instead of every month reducing the burden of the informants and distributing the monthly workload of INE provincial offices.
At  the end of the quarter data collected over the 3 months is aggregated to assess both costs and hours per employee per month during the reference quarter .

 - Renewal or annual rotation of the sample:

The total sample was divided into five groups of rotation so that in the first quarter of each year the oldest group is replaced, representing an annual renewal of 20% of the sample. In this way it is guaranteed that most companies will collaborate in the survey for five years .An exception is made for the units in the exhaustive strata (units with more than 500 employees and those belonging to strata so small that their sampling size necessarily coincides with the population), that are not renovated unless they cease to exist. These units represent 28% of the sample.

- For helping the informants to answer, we have tried to approximate the required information to documents ( payslips and social contributions bulletins ) that the employer must fill in in relation to their employees. In particular , the last section of the questionnaire . 


11. Confidentiality Top
11.1. Confidentiality - policy

Law 12/1989 of the Public Statistics INE states that can not disseminate, or make available in any way, individual or aggregate data that could lead to the identification of any individual person or entity. Moreover, the European Regulation 223/2009 on European statistics establishes the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of the data used to produce European statistics and the access to those confidential data taking into account the technical developments and the needs of users in a democratic society.

11.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

The INE takes the necessary logical, physical and administrative provisions for the protection of confidential data from data collection to publication.
A legal clause is included in the survey questionnaires informing about the protection of the data collected.
During the stages of information processing,  information allowing direct identification is only preserved while is strictly necessary to ensure the quality of processes. Direct identification data are not stored together with the own statistics, after the data collection phase.
The results to be published are analysed in detail before to prevent that confidential data of the statistical units can be derived . In cases in which  microdata are disseminated, they are always anonymous.

Confidential data is not published. It is aggregated with other confidential or non-confidential cells to produce a non-confidential data aggregate. For example section B at division level is confidential so only section level is published.


12. Comment Top

More information on INE web site: More information about LCI


Related metadata Top


Annexes Top
Coherence National Accounts
Coverage 2018
Revision history
Customised requests
LCI Methodology
LCI National press release
Online database
INE website
Statistics availability calendar
Sampling errors
Standard for adjusting seasonal and calendar effects in short-term series