Annual labour costs increased in 2011

INEThe National Institute of Statistics (INE) has released figures showing the annual costs per worker increased by 1.1% in 2011, compared to the previous year.

The INE summarise the main points as follows:

  • The total cost per worker, in gross terms, is 31,170.06 euros during the year 2011, for a 1.1% increase over the previous year.
  • The net cost is 30,886.60 euros per worker, after deducting 283.46 euros for subsidies and deductions received by the Public Administrations in order to promote employment and vocational training.
  • 73.1% of the total cost is earmarked for wages (22,775.76 euros per worker) and 22.0% to obligatory Social Security contributions (6,872.70 euros per worker).
  • Of the remaining items comprising the cost, 556.88 annual euros per worker are for social benefits, 323.40 for expenses from work, 530.37 euros correspond to compensation for dismissal and 110.95 to vocational training.
  • 95.7% of the centres, representing 89.5% of workers, regulate their labour relations through collective agreements.

Annual labour cost per worker

The labour cost per worker, in gross terms, was 31,170.06 euros in 2011, according to the results of the Annual Labour Cost Survey (ALCS), which completes the results obtained quarterly from the Quarterly Labour Cost Survey (QLCS). This cost represented a 1.1% increase as compared with the year 2010. After subtracting the subsidies and deductions received by the Public Administrations from this figure, a net cost of 30,886.60 euros was obtained, also with interannual growth of 1.1%.

Salaries and wages plus contributions to Social Security, together, accounted for 95.1% of the gross cost.

In addition to wages and contributions, 556.88 annual euros per worker were for social benefits (voluntary contributions to insurance and pension plans, complementary benefits from Social Security and expenses of a social nature), 323.40 for other expenses from work (end of contract payouts, small tools and work clothes, travel to the workplace, selection of personnel, etc.), 530.37 euros corresponded to compensation for dismissal, and 110.95 euros to vocational training.

Labour cost by economic activity

Industry was the economic sector with the greatest labour costs, reaching 35,251.32 euros per worker in 2011, that is, 1.7% more than the previous year. Worth noting was the increase in wage costs (2.8%), as well as the decrease in non-wage costs (1.5%).

The Construction sector experienced the greatest growth in net cost (2.6%), due to the increase in both wage costs (2.5%) and non-wage costs (2.8%).

In the Services sector, the increase in net cost was 1.0%. This sector recorded the least growth in wage costs (0.5%), and a 2.3% growth in non-wage costs.

The differences between the labour cost per worker were noteworthy, according to the different activities of the CNAE-09 classification of activities, with a broad spectrum ranging from 18,845.19 gross annual euros per worker in Accommodation, to 77,034.69 euros per wage earner in the Supply of electrical energy, gas, steam and air conditioning section.

You can see the full report here: Annual Labour Costs Survey – 2011

Long term unemployment up 43% in 2011

INEThe number of people that have been unemployed for three years or more increased 43.0% in 2011, according to new figures released by the National Statistics Institute (INE).

Most Spanish workers had a boss but no subordinates in the year 2011. According to the results of the subsample variables of the Economically Active Population Survey, seven out of 10 workers were in this situation, since they had jobs as employees (with a boss and without subordinates).

9.9% of the total employed persons in 2011 were independent workers (without a boss or subordinates); 6.6% were managers; 7.0% were directors of small companies, departments or branches; 5.7% were middle managers, and 0.8% were directors of large or medium-sized companies.

The percentage of employees remained the same with regard to 2010, that is, at 69.8%, whereas the percentage of managers decreased two tenths.

By sex, the percentage of male directors at least doubled the percentage of female directors, in all company sizes. In the case of the employee job, the percentage of women (77.6%) exceeded the percentage of men (63.4%).

Working conditions

92.6% of the persons employed in 2011 did not work any day in their home. 2.7% did so occasionally, and 4.0% worked from home on over half of their working days.

One in three persons (35.0%) worked at least one Saturday per month, one tenth more than in 2010. For 62.5% of employed persons, Saturday was not part of their working week in 2011.

Working on Sundays was again less customary. 78.6% of employed persons did not work any Sunday. In turn, 4.3% worked one Sunday a month (two tenths more than the previous year) and 15.9% two or more Sundays (five tenths more).

12.2% of employed persons worked the night shift (11.6% in 2010). 6.1% did so occasionally, and 6.1% on more than half of their working days. The percentage of male night shift workers (14.6%) surpassed the number of female night shift workers (9.3%).

Considering the type of hiring, the percentage of wage earners hired though a temporary employment agency (TEA) decreased from 3.0% to 2.7% in 2011, whilst 2.5% found employment through the intermediation of a public employment office (one tenth more than in 2010).


A total of 359,500 persons worked part-time, for the purpose of having more time available to care for dependent persons in the year 2011, which were 0.6% less than in 2010.

Almost the entirety of those working part-time, in order to simultaneously work as carers, were women. 55.9% of them were of the opinion that there were not adequate services for caring for dependants, or they were unable to afford them.

Unemployed persons

The majority of unemployed persons were previously employed. In fact, for 52.1% of them, the main reason for having stopped working in the year 2011 was the end of the contract.

The number of unemployed persons who left their last job three or more years ago increased 43.0%, reaching 704,900. This figure accounted for 15.4% of the total unemployed persons, 3.9 points higher than in 2010.

You can download the full report here: Economically Active Population Survey – Subsample variables Year 2011

Property investment from abroad increases

Foreign investment increased
2011 saw an increase in foreign property investment

Spain saw a 27% increase in property investment from foreigners in 2011 rising to 4,748 million euros, compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, Spanish investment abroad saw a decrease of 23.4%.

The Bank of Spain say this is the first time investment in Spanish property from abroad has exceeded 4,000 million euros for three years. It is also the largest single increase since the property bubble burst.

The results are similar to 2006 when the total property investment from foreigners stood at 4,716 million euros.

Despite these encouraging figures being much higher than those achieved in 2009 and 2010, investment is still some way off the amounts reached in 2007 and 2008, when foreign investment exceeded 5,300 million euros.

However, the 23.4% decline in the amount spent by Spanish investors abroad is now a staggering 81% below the peak of 2007. In 2011 Spanish investors put 618 million euros into foreign property, compared to 807 million in 2010.

High unemployment, economic uncertainty and low incomes are among the reasons cited for the drop in Spanish investment.

Costa del Sol still popular with Expats

malaga airport
More arrivals than departures

During 2011 reports say more EU citizens moved to the Costa del Sol than left it.

Despite many reports that there had been a mass exodus of expats from the region official figures prove this is not the case.

Many people did leave the region last year; 1,820 EU citizens and 5,250 South Americans left the country in 2011.

However, 8,445 EU citizens relocated to the Málaga province, as well as 2,495 from South America and 2,873 from Africa – a total of 13,813 new expats deciding to make their home on the Costa del Sol.

According to the Instituto Nacional Estadisticas (INE) of the total departures from the region only 2,414 were Spanish.

So while almost 13,000 people left the region, over 13,000 arrived ensuring the number of expats in the region remained reasonable stable, and rubbishing reports of mass departures.

Spain’s public debt soars

Spain National Debt
Crushing debt stifles Spanish growth

The Bank of Spain have released data showing the Spanish government debt rose to 68.5% of GDP in the fourth quarter of 2011, the highest in at least 16 years.

Bank of Spain records, which have been kept since 1995, show a previous high of 67.4%.

Total public debt reached 734.96 billion euros at the end of the year, up from 61.2% at the end of the previous year.

The debt is 8.5 points above the EU agreed limit of 60% of GDP, but still below the average across the eurozone members.

A debt of 67.2% had been forecast by Jose Luis Zapatero’s socialist government before they were defeated in November elections.

Other forecasts were not so optimistic with Eurostat forecasting a public debt of 69.6% in 2011, 73.8% in 2012 and 78% in 2013.

Spain’s public debt has risen to such levels due to annual public deficits that have over-shot EU targets, partly thanks to over-spending by regional governments, and also rising unemployment benefit bills.

Public debt ratio has grown uninterrupted since 2008 when the property bubble burst. At that point public debt was almost half what it is today at 35.8% of GDP.

Spain’s autonomous regions have a combined public debt of 140.1 billion euros, a record 13.1% of national GDP, representing a 1.7% increase compared to a year earlier.

However, municipal debts fell slightly over the year to 35.4 billion euros or 3.3% of GDP. The municipality with the highest debt is Madrid, with 1.035 billion euros in pending payments.

The mayor of Madrid, Ana Botella, says the total consists of pending debts of 920 million euros, plus a further 115 million which is owed to state-owned companies.

The central government’s debts also increased in 2011 to 52.1 percent of GDP at the close of 2011, an increase of 5.7% from a year earlier.

Housing Price Index (HPI). Base 2007 – Q4 2011

House Price Index - Q4 2011
Prices continue to fall

The National Institute of Statistics (INE) have released figures for the house price index (HPI) for the fourth quarter of 2011, showing an annual variation rate of -11.2%, almost four points lower than that registered the previous quarter.

The interannual variation of new housing decreases three-and-a-half points, up to -8.5%.

Second-hand housing registers a decrease of more than four points in the annual rate, which stands at -13.7%.

The quarterly variation of the general index is -4.2%.

Annual evolution of housing prices

The interannual rate of the Housing Price Index (HPI) in the fourth quarter of 2011 decreased almost four points, standing at -11.2%, the lowest since the first quarter of 2007.

By type of housing, the annual variation of new housing stood at -8.5%, three-and-a-half points lower than the previous quarter.

In turn, the annual rate for second-hand housing went from -9.6% in the second quarter to -13.7%, decreased more than four points, in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Worth noting, that these rates were the lowest registered since the beginning of the series, for the new and second-hand housing.

Results by Autonomous Community. Interannual variation rates

The annual variation of the HPI is negative in all Autonomous Communities in the fourth quarter. In addition, this rate decreased in all Autonomous Communities such as the three previous quarters.

The greatest decreases in this variation took place in Principado de Asturias and Comunidad de Madrid (-10.5% and –15.7%, respectively) decreased almost seven points as compared with the third quarter.

In turn, the lowest decreases of the annual variation took place in Canarias (-1.3 points) and Cantabria (–1.3 points), standing the annual variation at –7.7% and –11.6, respectively.

The full report can be downloaded here: Housing Price Index (HPI). Base 2007. Q4 2011

Property sales figures lowest since 2006

According to reports from the housing department in the Ministry of Public Works, property sales in Spain fell in 2011 by 29.3%, in terms of volume.

There were 347,305 registered property transactions in 2011 which is the lowest level recorded since the crisis began. It is a fall of 64% since the peak in 2006 when just short of one million property transactions were recorded.

During the fourth quarter of 2011 there were 105,560 property sales in Spain, representing an increase of 37.9% from the previous quarter but, more importantly, a decrease of 29.9% over the same period in the previous year. It is the first quarterly figure to top 100,000 transactions, following three consecutive quarters below this figure.

In the autonomous regions Andalucía recorded the highest number of sales with 67,018, closely followed by Valencia with 48,028, Madrid  with 45,020 and Catalonia where 44,961 properties were sold. Madrid, Barcelona, Alicante and Valencia recorded the greatest increase in sales.

In terms of sales to foreigners, by province, Alicante came out on top with 2,532 sales, followed by Málaga with 1,158.

Of the Q4 total, 43,974 sales were for new homes, representing 41.7% of the total, leaving 61,586 resale properties, 58.3% of the total.

For the full year, new housing accounted for 126,840 transactions, 36.5%. Resale properties made up 220,465 sales, accounting for 63.5% of the total transactions. This data shows that since 2008, the second-hand housing market has achieved some stability, with annual transactions over 220,000.

Record drop in mortgages in 2011

According to new figures from the Spanish Mortgage Association (Asociación Hipotecaria Española, AHE) the number of mortgages from Spanish banks fell 6% in 2011, the largest drop ever recorded.

At year end the mortgage balance stood at 1,009,656 million euros, the report shows.

In absolute terms, the net decline in mortgage lending was 67.271 million. In December alone it shrank by over 8 million euros, representing a decrease of 0.5% over the previous month. The data confirms the contraction suffered in Spain for the last four years. This is in contrast with growth exceeding 20% experienced during the peak of the housing boom.

By December, 543,766,000 euros in mortgages had been approved by savings banks, 6.54% less than a year earlier. For banks, the balance stood at 374,491,000, a 5.69% decrease from December 2010. Meanwhile, credit unions granted 67.058 million in loans, 4.87% less than the same period last year, while credit institutions account for 13.807 million euros, 36.02% more than in 2010.

With regard to new borrowing there has been a collapse in loans for private and corporate borrowers. According to the Bank of Spain the form of credit that suffered the most was families borrowing for property purchases. During 2011 banks granted 37.525 million euros in mortgages, a figure that is 46% lower than the year before when they loaned nearly 70,000 million.

The association suggests that the downward trend is likely to continue over the coming months, at least during the first half of this year.

In December the AHE predicted that the “turbulent” economic environment in Spain, and internationally, provides an “uncertain future”. However, a broad improvement in credit in the real-estate business is expected by the AHE.

The credit crunch became more severe in 2011, and when the crisis deepened it resulted in difficulties in obtaining finance. It is these circumstances that have reduced the overall balance of the mortgage portfolio which has reduced by 5.7%.

With the crisis continuing the market looks uncertain. On one hand falling house prices and interest rates are likely to increase the number of mortgages, while on the other hand economic pressure and rising unemployment could reduce borrowing.

Mariano Rajoy’s recently elected government has already approved financial reforms in an attempt to “clean up” the banks balance sheets and reduce their exposure to bad loans.

Property sales fell in 2011

The National Statistics Institute have released data showing a decline in the number of property sales in 2011.

Despite a good start to the year when sales figures showed a slight increase the year finished with 17.7% fewer sales than the previous year.

The total sales figure stood at 361,831, with 49% for sales of new properties and 51% for resale properties. This is a decline of 19.7% (177,236 transactions) for new dwellings and a decline of 15.7% (184,595 transactions) for resales.

In 2011, the total number of property transfers recorded in the land registries per 100,000 inhabitants was highest in the Autonomous Communities of Castilla y León (7,428), and La Rioja (6,839).

In Andalucia there werea total of  255,554 property transfers which represents 3,881 per 100,000 inhabitants. Overall 60% of the countries merchantings of dwellings were in the regions of Andalucía, Comunidad de Madrid, Comunitat Valenciana and Cataluña.

Of the total transfers in Andalucia 72,412 were for the transfer of dwellings, much higher than Madrid which followed with 49,194 transfers. Valencia was next with 48,198 transfers, and Cataluña with 47,118.

Nationally there were an average of 960 transfers of dwellings per 100,000 inhabitants.

You can see the full report here: Statistics on Transfer of Property Rights Year 2011 and December 2011.

Companies declared bankrupt increased in 2011

BankruptcyThe National Statistics Institute (INE) has released figures showing the number of debtors in Spain declared bankrupt in 2011 rose 13.3%, compared to the previous year, to 6,755.

The figure includes 5,821 companies (a 16.7% increase) and 934 individuals without business activity declared in bankruptcy proceedings, representing a 3.9% decrease from 2010.

Of the total, 6,472 declared voluntarily (a 14.5% increase from 2010) and 283 were forced (9.3% less).

One in three companies declared bankrupt specified ‘Construction and property development’ as their main activity, confirming the fears that the crisis would have a dramatic affect on the industry.

The Transport and storage industry saw the lowest increase in bankruptcies with only 2.9% compared to 2010. In contrast, Trade was the economic activity which saw the largest increase in bankruptcies, rising 23.4%.

According to type of company processed, the number of individuals with business activity decreased 11.1% in the interannual rate, whereas the number of private limited companies increased 18.2% and public limited companies increased 14.1%. The majority of companies declared bankrupt were private limited companies (76.3%).

According to the figures 65.4% of the companies declared bankrupt operated within the lowest turnover bracket of less than two million euros. This bracket includes all individuals with business activity, 68.3% of private limited companies and 44.1% of public limited companies.

By region the autonomous community of Cataluña saw the highest number of debtors with 1,507 processed. Valencia was next with 995 while Madrid saw 849 bankruptcies. Andalucía processed 784 but together these four regions accounted for more than half of the total debtors (61.2%).

The number of debtors processed in the fourth quarter of 2011 was 1,692 showing a 13.6% increase over the previous quarter.

You can read all the details here: Bankruptcy Proceedings Statistics – Fourth Quarter 2011