Spanish salaries are 17.8% lower than the EU average.
The average Spanish salary is 1,640 per month, 0.4% up on the previous year, a small nominal increase which reverses the downward trend of the previous two years. This is the conclusion reached by the IV Adecco Annual Salary Review, prepared by Adecco in conjunction with the researchers at Barceló y Asociados, which analyses average Spanish remuneration compared to the EU in general and the euro zone in particular.
The ordinary gross average salary in the 28 Member States of the European Union is 1,995 euros per month. This makes Spanish remuneration 17.8% lower; or, put another way, there is a difference of 355 euros per month.
Despite being below the average European salary, Spain finds itself in a “mid-table” position: there are 15 countries whose salaries are lower than those in Spain, while those working in the remaining 12 Member States earn more than their Spanish counterparts.
The 28 Member States can be broken down into three groups, based on the level of their average monthly salary:
- Countries with an average monthly salary of less than 1000 euros: except Portugal, all are in Eastern Europe: Bulgaria, Rumania, Lithuania, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia and Estonia.
- Countries whose average salary is more than 1,000 euros per month, but less than 2,500 euros: in addition to Spain, this group comprises Greece, Slovenia, Malta, Cyprus, Italy, France and Austria.
- Countries whose average monthly salary is more than 2,500 euros per month: Germany, Sweden, Finland, The Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, The UK, Luxembourg and Denmark.
The above data show that there are countries within the EU whose average salary is 10 times more than that of other Member States. In terms of comparisons, the biggest average salary difference is between Denmark and Bulgaria, which are separated by a chasm, rather than a gap, of 3192 euros per month.
If we restrict ourselves to the 19 countries in the euro zone, the differences are slightly less marked. Thus, the average salary in Luxembourg, where workers are the best paid in the euro zone, is almost six times higher than that being paid in Lithuania, which is the lowest in the area.
With respect to Spain, the salary gap compared to Germany is 875 euros per month, while the comparison with the United Kingdom is more unfavourable, since the difference is 1,102 euros per month.
By contrast, the picture is brighter when Spain is compared to France, although average salaries are still 615 euros per month higher in Spain’s neighbour.
Nevertheless, salaries in Spain are very attractive for those living in fifteen EU countries. The most extreme examples can be found in comparisons between Spain on the one hand and Bulgaria and Rumania on the other. Thus, the average Bulgarian worker is paid in one year what his/her Spanish counterpart receives in less than three months. And to earn the same as the average Romanian worker in a year, a Spanish worker needs to work just three and a half months.