Spain is third European country with highest minimum wage increase

by Lorraine Williamson
minimum wage increase

MADRID – With the latest increase in the minimum wage in Spain, Spain is the third European country where the minimum wage has increased the fastest. Although there is still a considerable gap compared to Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, the SMI in Spain is the sixth highest in the EU. 

Roughly speaking, Europe can be divided into three types of levels when it comes to the minimum wage;

  • Eastern Europe, where the minimum wage is below €1,000
  • Central Europe, the minimum wage is more than €1,500
  • Countries such as Spain, where the minimum wage is exactly in between. 

What does the minimum wage do in other European countries? 

To name a few examples; Germany is one of the more prosperous countries in Europe with a minimum wage of €1,621 per month. In France, this amount is set at €1,603, in Belgium at €1,658, in the Netherlands at €1,725. Whereas in Luxembourg, it is even at €2,257 per month. 

Spain raises minimum wage again 

The Spanish Council of Ministers recently approved another €35 increase in the minimum wage from January 2022 (with retroactive effect). In September 2021, the minimum wage had already risen slightly. After this new increase, the SMI will be exactly €1,000 per month. This increase is therefore in line with the demands of the trade unions. This €1,000 will be paid fourteen times a year, giving employees with an SMI an annual gross income of €14,000. 

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Spain in seventh place of countries with the highest minimum wage in the European Union 

With the latest increase of €35, Spain is the third country, after Lithuania and Luxembourg, where the minimum wage has risen the fastest since 2012, the last economic crisis. Although the minimum wage in Spain rose significantly, Spain has – just like last year – the seventh highest minimum wage in the European Union. 

Minimum wage Spain was the same for 7 years 

For seven years, between 2009 and 2016, the minimum wage has remained virtually the same. This only changed in 2017, during Rajoy’s reign. In 2018, when Pedro Sánchez became prime minister, an increase in the minimum wage became one of the main promises during the elections. In just over a year, the minimum wage rose from €700 to more than €900 euros per month and the SMI has increased by 26% in the past three years. 

It doesn’t stop here, however: The government’s plan is to implement one or more increases by 2023, bringing the minimum wage to €1,060 per month. 

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