Amid all the singing and dancing over Spain’s miraculous recovery and Europe’s renaissance on the back of Draghi’s money-printing machine, it appears – just like in America – that below the glossy veneer of engineered equity and bond prices, all is not well. As Xinhua reports, the average wage in Spain has fallen to its lowest level since 2007, according to figures released by the Spanish Ministry of Finance, and after peaking at 19.3 million in 2009, the number of workers is also collapsing.
According to data which is based on the tax returns of nearly 16,900,000 workers in Spain in 2014, the average annual wage now stands at 18,420 euros (around 20,000 US dollars).
The highest salaries are found in the capital city of Madrid, where the average worker takes home 24,576 euros. The lowest salaries are recorded in the rural region of Extremadura, where people’s annual income is as low as 13,559 euros.
The report shows that salaries showed little fluctuations from 2008 to 2011, and began to fall after the implementation of labor reform in 2012.
The ministry says the fall was not so much due to salaries being lowered for people at work, but that newly created jobs now offer much lower pay than before the crisis.
However, the crisis has no effect on Spain’s biggest earners as those who earn 10 times the minimum wage saw their salaries continue to grow. The 127,706 people fell in this category earn an average of 148,824 euros in 2014.
There is also clear gender discrimination in earnings in the highly-paid sector. Women account for just 18 percent of those earning 10 times the minimum wage.
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So yet another ‘recovery’ based on the lowering of job quality and collapse in participation rates… as long as the mainstream media plays along with the headlines (and The ECB keeps buying) everything is awesome.
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It appears the Catalans may have been right to want out…