Construction is the sector worst hit, with a 5% reduction. Archive photo. SUR
Workers in Spain lose average of almost 850 euros of purchasing power in last year

Workers in Spain lose average of almost 850 euros of purchasing power in last year

Average pay sets a new record in 2022 by rising to €1,822 per month, but inflation has eaten into that 4% increase

Lucía Palacios


Friday, 21 July 2023, 15:57


Spain's average salary has risen to a record-high of 1,822 euros per month after a 4% increase in the past year, the second highest rise since 2008. But due to inflation, the raise in salary is not resulting in greater purchasing power among Spanish workers. In fact, they are spending less when they go shopping than a year earlier. Last summer inflation reached double digits, the highest it had been in three decades.

In 2022 the average salary lost 4% of purchasing power, equivalent to 70 euros per month less, 843 euros less per year, according to the IX Adecco Wage Monitor, published this Thursday 20 July.

Workers now have less purchasing power than in 2017 and even than in 2008, when the great financial crisis hit, the study pointed out. Over the past five years, a fall in the purchasing power of average pay of 2.5% has accumulated. That cut is equivalent to a loss of almost 44 euros per month or 523 euros per year compared to 2017. And when compared to 2008 data, the results worsen, as the purchasing power of the average salary in 2022 is 7% lower than in 2008.

When analysed by sector, construction is the worst hit, with a 5% reduction that translates to about 1,022 euros less per year. Industry was next, with a drop of 4.6% which translates to 1,088 euros less per year, and then services with a cut of 3.8% which translates to a loss of 772 euros per year.

By region, Castilla-La Mancha has lost the most amount of purchasing power with a cut of 6.1%, followed by Cantabria (-5.9%), Asturias (-5.6%) and La Rioja (-5.2%). On the other hand, Catalonia lost the least (-0.4%).

Bigger company, better pay

In addition to sector, the study also pointed out large wage differences when it comes to the size of the company: the larger it is, the better the salary. Compared with the average of 1,822 euros per month, large companies achieve an average remuneration of 2,127 euros per month, 305 euros above the average. Small companies average €1,549 per month (€273 below average), and medium-sized companies reach €1,919 (€97 above average).

The gap between the largest and smallest companies in 2022 is approximately €578 per month, €6,939 per year, the study showed.

The largest increase in average pay was in hospitality, which was boosted by 28.4%. The increase means it surpasses the average salary of 2019, which stood at 1,099, and reaches 1,186 euros per month, but it remains as the sector with the lowest salary.

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