The average Spanish salary is 20.9% lower than that of the EU

The average Spanish salary, despite being at an all-time high of 1,822 euro per month, is 20.9% lower than the average gross ordinary salary in the European Union, which in 2022 reached 2,194 euro per month, according to a report from the Centre for Adecco studies published this Monday.

Therefore, the Spanish salary is 480 euro per month lower than the European one or, to put it another way, workers in Spain earn an average of 5,760 euro less per year than the EU average.

Of the different definitions to refer to salaries, Adecco uses in this report the ordinary gross salary, which includes regular monthly payments before calculating the corresponding deductions and withholdings. Therefore, all non-regular payments (extraordinary payments, overtime, delays, compensation) are excluded.

Despite the disadvantage with respect to the European average remuneration, Adecco points out that Spain continues to be placed in an intermediate situation within the EU.

Thus, there are 15 European countries whose average wages are lower than Spain’s, while eleven countries have higher wages than Spain’s.

Specifically, within the EU, there are eleven countries with an average salary of less than 1,200 euro per month: Portugal (1,154 euro/month), Estonia (1,123 euro/month), Lithuania (1,110 euro/month), Greece (1,049 euro/month), Slovakia (1,046 euro/month), Latvia (978 euro/month), Poland (941 euro/month), Croatia (903 euro /month), Hungary (852 euro/month), Romania (796 euro/month), and Bulgaria (650 euro/month).

Although they are all below 1,200 euro per month, there is a great disparity between them, since the average salary in Portugal is almost double that of Bulgaria, Adecco points out.

On the other hand, seven countries are in the intermediate salary group, since they have an average salary of more than 1,200 euro, but less than 2,600 euro. Among them is France (2,574 euro/month), Italy (2,174 euro/month), Spain (1,822 euro per month), Slovenia (1,503 euro/month), Cyprus (1,359 euro/month), Malta (1,354 euro/month), and the Czechia (1,208 euro/month).

Finally, nine countries register average salaries of more than 2,600 euro per month. These are the cases of Luxembourg (3,713 euro/month), Denmark (3,573 euro/month), Germany (3,148 euro/month), Ireland (3,051 euro/month), Belgium (3,007 euro/month), Austria (2,964 euro/month), the Netherlands (2,964 euro/month), Finland (2,678 euro/month), and Sweden (2,604 euro/month). This group is more homogeneous than the two previous ones, since the maximum difference is less than 30%.

The UK is no longer being part of the EU, but for comparison, the average monthly salary would work out around 2,700 euro.

If the salary in Spain is compared with the two lowest in the EU (Bulgaria and Romania), the Spanish average salary is 2.8 times higher than the Bulgarian one (1,822 euro compared to 650 euro/month, respectively), with a difference monthly of 1,172 euro (14,064 euro/year).

For its part, the average remuneration in Spain multiplies that of Romania by 2.3 (1,822 euro versus 796 euro/month, respectively). In the latter case, the monthly difference is 1,026 euro (12,316 euro/year).

“The above figures are equivalent to saying that the income received by an average worker in Bulgaria after one year is similar to what an average employee earns in Spain in approximately four months. At the same time, to earn the same as a worker average in Romania after one year, a Spanish wage earner needs to work for approximately five months”, stresses Adecco.

Compared to neighbouring Portugal, where the average salary is 1,154 euro per month, the Spanish salary is 57.8% higher, which translates into a difference of 668 euro per month (8,012 euro/year).

Thus, the relative situation of the Spanish average salary is “clearly advantageous” compared to those of Eastern European countries and a neighbouring country such as Portugal, but it is unfavourable compared to other EU countries, such as the northern neighbour, France, and Germany.

Specifically, the wage gap between Spain and Germany reached 1,326 euro per month in 2022 (15,911 euro per year), since Spanish remuneration is 42.1% lower than that of Germany. This difference means, for example, that an average Spanish wage earner needs to work almost 21 months to earn an income similar to that of an average German wage earner in one year.

For its part, if compared with France, Spanish remuneration is 29.2% lower than that of the French country (752 euro less each month and 9,026 euro less per year).

According to Adecco, the gap between European salaries has been narrowing since 2010, when the highest remuneration, which at that time was 2,900 euro and corresponded to Luxembourg, multiplied by 11 the lowest (265 euro, from Bulgaria). In 2021, the gap between the two countries was greater than six, while in 2022 it was 5.7.