25 Apr, 2023 @ 16:30
1 min read

Spain is largest ‘eurozone’ country with biggest ‘real wage’ fall in 2022

Spain is largest 'eurozone' country with biggest 'real wage' fall in 2022
Image by Niek Verlaan from Pixabay

SPANISH workers suffered the most of any large Eurozone country as their real wages got hit by high inflation in 2022.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development(OECD) report, ‘Taxing Wages’ worked out the effect of inflation on purchasing power and calculated that wages in real terms fell by 5.3% in Spain last year.

Although gross salaries grew by 2.9% (almost €800) to €28,360 gross on average per year, skyrocketing inflation (which closed the year at 8.6%) reduced the purchasing power of people in Spain far higher than their European neighbours.

On average, the gross salary of the 38 countries that make up the OECD suffered a loss of 3.4%, two points less than in Spain.

Moreover, the purchasing power of Spaniards fell ten times more than in France (-0.5%), three times more than in Italy (-2.2%) and 1.4 points more than in Germany (-3.9%)- a country that had an inflation rate similar to Spain’s in 2022 but where a significant rise in wages cushioned the blow.

The only European countries whose real wages fell more than in Spain were the Netherlands, Greece, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Latvia and Lithuania, mainly due to their double-digit inflation rates at the end of last year.

Salaries that are also conditioned by the high income taxes paid in Spain were compared to the OECD average.

People in Spain paid an average of 39.5% of their income in taxes and contributions in 2022, practically the same as in 2021.

This tax burden (personal income tax and social security contributions combined) is five points above the average for the 38 countries that make up the OECD, which remained at 34.6% in 2022, four tenths above the previous year.

People in Spain pay almost ten points less in income taxes than other neighbouring countries such as Belgium, Germany or France, and even less than Italy or Portugal.

However, Social Security contributions paid by employers in Spain account for 23% of the salary- well above the average of the 38 countries that make up the OECD which stands at 13.4%.


Alex Trelinski

Alex worked for 30 years for the BBC as a presenter, producer and manager. He covered a variety of areas specialising in sport, news and politics. After moving to the Costa Blanca over a decade ago, he edited a newspaper for 5 years and worked on local radio.

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