Salaries in Spain are nearly 450 euros a month lower than the European average, according to figures from the most recent Adecco Annual Salary Monitor. The average gross monthly salary of a worker in the EU is 2,194 euros, while in Spain it is 20.2% lower at 1,751 euros. The report shows that the gap has narrowed by 0.5% since 2020.
Despite being way below countries at the top of the table such as Luxembourg (with an average gross salary of 3,503 euros a month), Denmark (3,458) or Germany (3,003), Spain is in 15th place among the 27 countries of the European Union. The problem is that most countries which are considered in terms of their economic potential pay higher salaries than Spain.
For example, looking only at countries in the eurozone, Spain is 192 euros a month below the average, which is 1,943 euros. Among the 19 countries with the euro as their currency, German (3,003 euros), France (2,446) and Italy are high on the list and the only ones below Spain are Portugal (1,106 euros a month) and Greece (1,034).
As Adecco explains, Spain has a clear advantage over countries in eastern Europe, but is in a disadvantageous situation compared with the most advanced nations in the EU.
Compared with its immediate neighbours, France and Portugal, Spanish salaries are 58% higher than the latter, but 28.4% lower than the former, which means a difference of 695 euros a month, or 8,340 euros a year.
The salary gap between Spain and Germany is 1,250 euros a month (over 15,000 euros a year), which means that a worker in Spain would have to work for 20 and a half months to obtain a similar income to the average yearly wage in Germany.
Between the European country with the highest salary (Luxembourg, 3,502 euros a month) and that with the lowest (Bulgaria, 562 euros a month), there is a gap of 2,940 euros. In other words, a worker in Bulgaria would have to work for more than six months to earn the same amount as their counterpart in Luxembourg receives in one month.