The pay packets* of workers in 6 EU countries is lower on average than ten years ago. In a further 3 EU countries wages have been almost frozen over the last decade.
New figures by the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI)** show that average pay packets in Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal, Croatia and Cyprus were lower in 2019 than in 2010.
Average pay packets, adjusted for inflation (and including social security contributions and pay benefits), went down 2010-19 by:
15% in Greece
7% in Cyprus
5% in Croatia
4% in Spain
4% in Portugal
2% in Italy
It also shows that average pay packets practically froze with barely above zero increases over the last decade in:
The Netherlands (1.5%).
“Working people in six EU countries are worse off than they were 10 years ago” said Esther Lynch, ETUC Deputy General Secretary. “EU leaders like to talk up the so-called recovery but the crisis is not over for millions of working people in many EU countries.”
“The EU must do much more to promote increases in wages and in minimum wages, and to support stronger collective bargaining in almost all EU member states.”
The ETUC is not commenting here on wages in other EU countries. Even substantial wage increases in low wage economies have NOT led to workers in those countries getting fair or decent wages. The statistics above highlight countries where wages have actually reduced or remained practically frozen (in real terms adjusted for inflation) over a decade.
*Technically called ‘real compensation per employee’ = pay, employer’s social security contributions and benefits per employee adjusted for inflation
**Calculations based on AMECO data