• the full Congress has validated this Thursday 8% rise the minimum wage in Spain, which is far from the most advanced European countries.
  • “an adequate minimum wage does have negative ctos on employment”, says the ILO Global report of wages 2016.
  • The UN agency points to Spain as one of the countries in which its workers lost more share of GDP income during the crisis.
  • In addition, the ILO report warns of growing wage inequality and that can “thwart” working families.
  • DOC : 2016 ILO wage report Executive Summary [español] and [en inglés].


think GDP as if it were an empty box. To learn about the activity of a country can calculate what comes out of it (would measure costs) or what comes in; in this case, you would measure national income, i.e., what residents earn in a year. These revenues have two senses: give back to the capital or return to the workforce.

As well, according to the global wages report published on Thursday by the international organization of Labour Organization (ILO), during the worst years of the crisis, in Spain the percentage of GDP income stayed employees… was reduced at the expense of giving more back to the capital.

“workers have lost part of the cake, regardless that the employer decides after staying that income as profit or reinvestment in the company”, explains Luis Zarapuz, Economist of CC OO. “The reduction of the share of income of workers has been global, but higher in the countries most affected by the crisis and by the austerity and wage moderation, such as Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain,” explains the Agency of the UN in its biennial report on wages.

As a percentage of GDP, the wages of Spain lost more than 3% of its weight in the country’s income from 2010 until 2015 the five years in which the Government of Rajoy applied in the country large measures of spending cuts and tax hikes. The importance of wages, however, grew in other neighbouring countries such as France, Germany, Holland, Belgium or the Nordic countries.

Dropping the weight of income for workers, according to the ILO, may be due to another cause: that grow the labor productivity. “That also happened in the crisis, but was due to the production fell less than the number of jobs. That they kept employment worked more, “says Zarapuz.

The minimum wage is still far from the standard European

the labour body shown expectant with positive ctos that can contribute to the recovery of salary weight, some measures such as the introduction of minimum wages in countries that had it before (like Germany) or the rise of this rrencia in other places like United States… or even in Spain. “It’s a way to support the workers and poor workers”, it is estimated this UN agency, whose mission is to bring together Governments, employers and workers to develop policies and programmes to promote “decent work”.

Precisely this Thursday the Congress has approved the SMI rise for next year from 655,2 euros in 14 annual instalments up to 707,2 euros. I.e. 52.4 per each payroll. The rise was agreed makes two weeks between the Government and the Socialist Party as part of a multiple agreement which included approving the expenditure ceiling, permit a more manga broadband with autonomic deficit and raising taxes without touching personal income TAX or VAT.

minimum wage 2016 2017
SMI monthly (14 instalments) €655,2 €707,6

SMI monthly (12 pay) €764.4 825,6
SMI annual €9.172,8 €9.906,6

source: own elaboration.

It is a sharp rise. It rises to 8% and is the largest annual review of the minimum wage in the last 30 years. But in spite of this, the Spanish SMI remains far behind the enjoyed in the major EU countries, such as France (1,467 euros a month in 12 instalments), Germany (1.473), Belgium (1502), Netherlands (1,508) or United Kingdom (1529).

“this rise is neither sufficient nor is worthy”, criticized the Congresswoman in comú Podem, Aina Vidal during the parliamentary process. His party presented last month a proposition in Parliament calling for upload the SMI to 800 euros and advance during the parliamentary term to a minimum wage that reach 60% of the net average income as recommended by the European Social Charter. I.e., around 1,000 euros. According to the ILO, or 50% would not reach: the average annual salary in Spain is Euro 22.850.

The figure would still be far from the standard of the neighbouring countries, indeed, would meet the recommended range. The PSOE supported that proposal can. And the unions – that take to the streets to protest from Thursday until Sunday – also. But the Socialists chose to close an agreement with the popular for a lower amount, those 707 euros. “It is the first social democratic measure, first measure positive in five years,” has dndido the parliamentary spokesman for the PSOE, Antonio Hernando.

“set the minimum wage at a suitable level can increase the incomes of the poorly paid workers without having significant negative ctos on jobs”, says the ILO, also advocating collective bargaining – and not the individual in each company imposed labor reform of Rajoy in 2012. “When negotiation is national or sectoral, is covered a large proportion of workers, while if it is limited to the sphere of the workplace, the cto is reduced inside these companies.

An inequality that is primed with women

the hardest, according to the Organization, would be women. The difference between the salaries of sexes in Europe at around 20%. And although many of the lowest paid jobs occupied them – European women occupy 60% of these posts – curiously the gap widens to 45% in the top 1% of the salary scale.

The Organization finally concluded that has slowed the growth of real wages in the world – grew by 2.5% in 2010 and at the end of last year 1.7% – and that remains a “ wage inequality worry more and more”. In Europe, for example, 10% of employees have been “a dramatic increase” of their remuneration compared to the rest: their wage equals the perceived by 50% worse paid.

“wage stagnation and the continuous decline in the wage share can lead to social and economic consequences”, warns the ILO. “The disconnect between economic growth and wage causes that working families feel that they are not receiving a fair share of the fruits of economic progress… and this feeds their frustration.”

Among the measures proposed by the ILO, apart from raising the minimum wage and give priority to collective bargaining, is a more intense imposition, take action against tax fraud and offer rebates to low-income households to restore the progressivity of the tax systems “in the past few years have become less progressive”.