That came after a 2.2% rise in the final three months of 2013. Gross earnings costs climbed 2.3% annually in the first quarter, while non-wage costs declined 3%.
The agency noted that a drastic decline in sick leave, down 22% annually, due to a mild winter, contributed to the decrease in the expenditure for continued remuneration in the case of sickness, which accounts for a major part of non-wage costs.
Sequentially, hourly labor costs increased a seasonally-and-calendar-adjusted 0.4% in the first three months of the year, following a 1.1% gain in the previous quarter. Labor costs increased for the third quarter in a row.
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