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Spanish hourly wages fall further from euro-zone average

Source: El Pais - Tue 14th Apr 2015
Spanish hourly wages fall further from euro-zone average

Wage devaluation has pushed Spanish salaries further away from the euro zone average, a recent European study shows.

In 2014, Spanish workers were making an average hourly rate of 15.70, or 27.3% less than the 21.60 average in the group of countries with the common currency.

Seven years earlier, in 2008 when the economic crisis began that difference was 24.3%, according to an analysis of companies with 10 or more workers conducted by Eurostat, the European statistics bureau.

This growing gap not only holds true in a comparison between average hourly wages in Spain and the euro zone, but also those between Spain and the EU as a whole.

These figures show a reversal of the trend of preceding years by which Spanish salaries were slowly converging with European ones.

Reducing labor costs as a way to improve competitiveness has been one of the goals of Spain's current conservative PP government, and many reforms have been aimed in that direction.

Other EU countries in financial straits adopted similar measures, either out of conviction or imposition. Domestic devaluation was a goal of the so-called Troika the IMF, the European Commission and the ECB which set out conditions for bailouts.

The Eurostat figures show that in recent years, other countries have been diverging from euro-zone salaries even more than Spain. The most extreme case is Greece, where the average hourly wage was 13.50 in 2008 29% less than the average while in 2013 it was 11.40, or 46.4% less than the euro zone average.

Cyprus, Portugal and Italy have also experienced growing wage gaps compared with the group average.

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Comment on this Story

Probably the main reason why the Economy of so many Eurozone countries is in the toilet, Carl.
Robster - Thu, 16th Apr 2015
The minimum wage in UK is ?6.51 an hour. "They" say the average wage is ?25,000 p.a. which @ ?1/1.35 equates to an average hourly rate in UK of 16.23, just higher than Spain but far less than the euro average. Now the minimum wage is very commonplace here and that equates to ?6.51 per hour or @1.35/?1 8.79 p.h. :-(
Carl - Wed, 15th Apr 2015

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