Spain's labor cost fell by 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 in comparison with the same period of 2011, according to data published Monday by the Spanish National Institute of Statistics (INE).
The INE said this decrease was especially high in the public administration, defense and compulsory social security sectors, which suffered a 15.9-percent decline.
Health and social work activities were affected by a significant decrease of 10.4 percent in labor costs, while state business and education experienced a 4.8-percent and 4-percent drop respectively.
However, extractives industries and energy supplies (including electricity, gas, air conditioning and vapor), experienced an increase of 10 percent and 9.4 percent respectively in labor costs.
The INE reported it revised the index data of the third quarter of 2012, concluding Spain's labor cost per hour worked increased by 0.5 percent from July to September 2012.
Data released on Monday meant the highest decline since 2008, when the economic crisis started in Spain as a result of the bursting of the housing bubble and the world economic downturn.
The Spanish union Union General de Trabajadores (UGT) has expressed concern over the decrease of labor costs, saying it would make it more complicated for Spain to overcome the crisis since consumption must be reactivated.