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Analyzing the average Spanish wage

Fifth consecutive increase in the average gross salary in Spain since the historic fall of 2016. In 2021 it reached 2,086.8 euros per month, a new record after increasing 48.2 euros (+2.4%) compared to the previous year, when it exceeded by first time the height of 2,000 euros .

The median salary rose somewhat more, which results from dividing what is received into two identical halves between those who earn more and less. It amounted to 1,757.4 euros, 51 euros more than in 2020 (+3%). The data is extracted from the analysis by deciles of the Active Population Survey (EPA) and from them an x-ray of the salary differences in the country can be made.

For the calculation, the National Institute of Statistics (INE) orders the total wage earners (16,601,500 in the case of last year) by the amount of monthly salary received and divides them into 10 equal groups (deciles) that each include the 10th % of workers in each group, that is, in each group there are 1.66 million employees.

The data reflects that 40% of wage earners (6.64 million) earned between 1,366.5 and 2,342.2 gross euros per month in 2021, the remuneration of 30% (4.98 million people) was at least 2,342 .2 euros per month and the remaining 30% (another 4.98 million wage earners) earned less than 1,366.5 euros per month.

Women and young people, who receive the lowest salaries
The statistics allow us to specify more. From the comparison by sex, a first inequality emerges, that of gender . The average salary of women in 2021 was 1,883.4 euros per month, while that of men reached 2,276.9 euros. According to the tables published by the INE, men had a higher relative concentration in high salaries than women. 33.6% of men earned 2,342.2 euros or more in 2021, compared to 26.3% of women, however, the opposite occurred in low wages: 40.5% of them had a lower salary to 1,366.5 euros, compared to 20.2% of them.

The main reason for this difference, both in average wages and in wage distribution, is that women work more part-time , with temporary contracts and in lower-paid branches of activity in a greater proportion than men, mainly due to the greater assumption of roles of the home and care.

This and the age comparison -below- confirm that working less than the usual working day and with temporary contracts implies a greater probability of being in lower wage brackets. The level of training or seniority in the company also influences.

The detail also enables analysis by age and also uncovers imbalances . The average gross salary increased in 2021 with age, going from the average 1,234.9 received by young people under 25 years of age to 2,348.5 euros for employees aged 55 and over.

Breaking down the tables, the differences become more evident. 63% of wage earners under 25 years of age received a monthly salary of less than 1,366.5 euros last year. They account for most of the 30% who received the lowest salaries . Only 5% of that age group obtained a salary of 2,342.2 euros and more.

The accounts are reversed if the remuneration of employees aged 55 and over are observed. In this case, 24.6% were in the lower bracket of the monthly salary while 37.7% were in the upper bracket.

The conclusion is that the youngest workers are concentrated in the lowest wages, while the oldest are more represented in the highest. This responds not only to the contracts but to the ‘chevrons’ . At older ages, a greater proportion of permanent contracts accumulates, more seniority in the job position and more work experience. Young people, however, have more part-time and temporary contracts and less seniority.

From bank employees to domestic workers: salaries according to employment
Few surprises suppose that the highest average salaries in 2021 were concentrated in the banking and insurance sector (3,583.2 euros) and that the lowest corresponded to domestic workers (858.1 euros), hospitality workers (1,225 .8 euros) and agriculture, livestock, forestry and fishing (1,352.7 euros).

The lowest salaries (below 1,366.5 euros) were concentrated in domestic staff (88.7%), whose salary also dropped from 997 euros in 2020, and in the Agriculture, livestock, forestry and fishing sector (65 ,two%). Here, the higher proportion of part-time jobs in the first sector (represented mostly by women) and temporary employment in the second explain why the lowest salaries are found.

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