SALARIES suffered badly in Spain last year with wage increases well below the high rate of inflation.

Figures released by the Ministry of Labour on Tuesday said that nine million employees involved in union-brokered wage deals only got an average salary rise of 2.78% in 2022.

The increase was well below last year’s average inflation figure of 8.4%.

It’s the largest gap between wage rises and inflation recorded in recent years.

In 2021, inflation averaged 3.1% with salary increases coming in at 1.53%.

The Ministry of Labour said the biggest wage rises were for household cleaners (6.3%); professional, scientific and technical activities ranging from architects to veterinarians(3.75%); and the artistic sector(3.66%).

Below the 2.78% average were people working in finance and insurance (1.66%), energy supply (1.92%) and education (2.11%).

By regions, the highest salary rises were in the Basque Country (5.07%), Navarra (4.49%) and Galicia (3.94%).

The Murcia region (2.4%), Castilla-La Mancha (2.27%) and Aragon (2.02%) propped up the bottom.

General secretary of the General Union of Workers, Pepe Alvarez, said: “2023 is starting just like 2022 ended, with a need for employers to sit down to negotiate collective agreements.”

Alvarez, along with other union leaders, has also called for an increase in the national minimum wage.

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