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Malaga overtakes Seville and now has the highest average salary in Andalucía
Finance

Malaga overtakes Seville and now has the highest average salary in Andalucía

The recovery after the coronavirus pandemic has allowed the province to climb up the salary ranking, but it is still almost 2,500 euros below the national average

Friday, 9 February 2024, 16:53

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Salaries in Malaga province are still below the national average, but after the pandemic they experienced a recovery that has allowed the province to climb a few places in the ranking, overtaking Seville and placing first in Andalucía. Salaried workers in Malaga have an average pay packet of 24,812 euros gross per year which, in net monthly terms, divided into 14 payments (traditionally workers in Spain are paid twice in July and December), is equivalent to around 1,411 euros. The Andalusian annual average is 880 euros lower (or 3.7% in proportional calculations). And the difference with Seville, which until last year was the province with the best average salary and is now in third place in Andalucía, is narrower: 204 euros (0.8%). The data is extracted from a report prepared by the Andalusian statistics institute IECA with fiscal data from the Social Security corresponding to 2022.

Malaga reaches the first place in the Andalusian salary ranking after an annual growth in the average annual way of 4.6% in 2022. This increase has been greater than the regional average (4.2%) and that of Seville (3.7%). The Andalusian provincial ranking is formed by Malaga (24,812), Cadiz (24,741), Seville (24,604), Granada (24,386), Cordoba (23,447), Jaen (22,530), Huelva (22,092) and Almeria (21,828).

In five years (i.e. since 2017), Malaga has accumulated an average wage increase of 15.4%. This is approximately the same as the average annual salary increase at the Andalusian level (15.6%) and is one point above the increase in Seville (14.4%), which clearly dominated the regional ranking in 2017 and is now in third position. However, this increase is below the 17.8% increase at national level. And if we compare this with the rise in prices in this period, the gain is very little: the CPI between December 2017 and December 2022 has risen by 14.3%.

The above data corresponds to what a worker in each province would earn on average if he/she worked full time for the whole year (statisticians call this «full-time equivalent annual salary»). But this is not always the case in reality: there are people who do not work for part of the year and others who have part-time contracts. In 2022, the 645,825 salaried workers resident in Malaga actually received a gross annual income of 18,280 euros, as they worked on average 72% of the time that a full-time, full-year contract would take. This figure is also the highest in Andalucía, the first time Malaga has overtaken Seville.

Wage gap: women earn 2,226 euros less per year

The average salary is, in reality, a screen that hides large differences that depend on many variables: age, sex, sector, nationality... To begin with, the wage gap between men and women continues to exist: female salaried workers in Malaga earn, for the same working day, 2,226 euros less on average than men each year (the average gross annual salary is 25,882 for men and 23,656 for women). This difference cannot be attributed to the fact that women have a higher percentage of part-time work, as it is calculated on the equivalent full-time salary. It is due to two main causes: that women are more present in low paid activities (such as cleaning, hotel and catering, commerce or care for dependants) and that their presence in technical and managerial positions is not nearly as high as that of men.

By sector: agriculture is the worst and government the best

By sector, the worst salaries are in agriculture (with an annual average of less than 18,000 euros) and the best are in public services, where the average salary is 31,873 euros (with a large difference between the sexes: women earn 29,498 euros and men earn more than 36,568 euros). The second highest paid sector in the Malaga economy is industry, with just over 27,000 euros per year (and almost 6,000 euros difference between the average salary for men and women). Precisely the scant weight of industry in Malaga (with less than 35,000 employees) is one of the reasons why this province has traditionally been trailing behind in terms of salaries in Spain. The group of «other sectors», which is above average with almost 25,300 euros per year, includes financial or technological services, among others. And already below the average are construction (with 22,217) and retail and hotel and catering (with 21,723), where a third of Malaga's salaried workers are found.

Age: the older, the higher the salary

Age is another very important factor when comparing salaries in Malaga. The equation in this case is very clear: the more years behind you, the higher your salary in the bank. Between the average salary of those under 30 (20,394 euros gross per year) and those over 60 (28,420) there is a difference of more than 8,000 euros or, in other words, a gap of 39%.

Municipalities: Rincón de la Victoria, the best paid

There are also differences depending on the municipality where you live. Within the province of Malaga, and counting only towns with more than 40,000 inhabitants (the rest are not detailed in the statistics), Rincón de la Victoria has the highest salaries: its inhabitants earn an average of 28,655 euros gross per year. This figure makes it the third highest paid municipality in Andalucía, behind Granada city (with 29,668 euros) and Mairena de Aljarafe in Seville province (with 29,077).

Returning to the ranking of Malaga municipalities according to their average salary, Rincón de la Victoria is followed by two other towns in the metropolitan area of Malaga: Alhaurín de la Torre, with 27,277 euros, and Torremolinos, with 26,237. It should be noted that these data refer to the place of residence and not of work, that is, they measure the salary of the people who live in each municipality, not those who work there. Malaga city comes fourth in the ranking, with 26,200. This is followed by four of the large municipalities on the western Costa del Sol: Benalmádena, Fuengirola, Marbella and Estepona, in that order. Next come Antequera, Mijas and, finally, Vélez-Málaga, which closes the ranking with an average annual salary of 22,894 euros.

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