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WORKING IN SPAIN

Workers in Spain earn 20 percent less than EU average

Despite being one of the largest economies in Europe, Spain may not be a good place to work for those looking to be well compensated as figures reveal workers earn a lot less than some of their European neighbours.

atm in Spain
Spaniards earn 20 percent less than the EU average. Photo: Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke / Pixabay

People working in Spain earn, on average, €1,751 per month. This is 20 percent less or €443 less than the EU average of €2,194, according to human resource giant Adecco and their monitor on wages, published Tuesday.

Life in Spain is getting more and more expensive due to soaring inflation and rising energy costs, but despite having the highest average salary in history, people in Spain can’t afford as much as they did 13 years ago, due to diminishing purchasing power.

Within the EU, Adecco reported that 15 countries have wages lower than Spain, and 11 have higher. 

Nine European countries have average salaries above €2,500 per month, while in Spain the average salary does not even reach €2,000. This is the case in Finland (€2,603), Sweden (€2,623), Austria (€2,788), Belgium (€2,830), the Netherlands (€2,883), Ireland (€2,920), Germany (€3,003), Denmark (€3,458 ) and Luxembourg (€3,502).

In Germany for example, employees earn on average 42 percent more than in Spain, meaning that workers in Spain would have to work 20 months, almost two years, to be able to earn the same as a German.

There is more than €1,250 difference between what those in Germany are paid and what those in Spain are paid.

On the other hand, there are several EU countries with salaries less than in Spain. Those with average salaries of €1,100 are mostly found in Eastern Europe, with Bulgaria being the EU country with the lowest remuneration of just €562 per month.

This is followed by Romania (€718), Hungary (€798), Poland (€833), Croatia (€863), Latvia (€892), Slovakia (€977), Lithuania (€1,007), Greece (€1,034), Estonia (€1,053) and the Czech Republic (€1,078).

Spain forms part of the middle group that earn more than €1,100 per month but less than €2,500 per month. Those EU countries with salaries similar to Spain include Portugal (€1,106), Cyprus (€1,309), Malta (€1,329), Slovenia (€1,417), Italy (€2,074) and France (€2,446). However, there are of course wide gaps between these countries too.  

Compared to its nearest neighbours, Spanish workers earn 58 percent more than those in Portugal or €645 more per month, but 28.4 percent less than those in France or €695 less each month. 

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ECONOMY

Spain’s inflation slows down significantly in September

Spanish inflation eased in September to 9 percent from a nearly four-decade high, thanks to a drop in electricity and fuel prices, provisional data from the National Statistics Institute (INE) showed Thursday.

Spain's inflation slows down significantly in September

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sent inflation soaring worldwide, prompting central banks to hike interest rates in an effort to rein in consumer prices.

Spain’s annual rate stood at 9.0 percent in September, down from 10.5 percent in August.

Inflation had remained in double digits since June, a level not seen since the mid-1980s.

“This development is largely due to the fall in prices of electricity which went up in September 2021,” the INE said in a statement. The definitive figures will be released next month.

“It has also been influenced, albeit to a lesser extent, by the fall in fuel prices,” it added.

Core inflation, which excludes certain prices such as energy, fell by 0.2 percentage points to 6.2 percent, it said.

The government of Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has in recent months rolled out aid packages to help households and businesses weather the inflationary pressure, which has soared across Europe due to the Ukraine war.

It has introduced free public transport, subsidised petrol prices and temporarily slashed the sales tax on gas among other measures, in moves that are expected to cost some €30 billion ($30 billion) — or 2.3 percent of Spain’s gross domestic product.

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