Low Wages Overshadows Spanish Economy


While unemployment in Spain is falling, the types of jobs that now exist are a lot different to those that were around before the economic crisis.

According to data published in the latest Active Population Survey, Spain is on its way to becoming an economy based on services. And this means the lowest of the lowest paid jobs.

During the first quarter of 2008 there were 20.6 million people with a job in Spain. Out of these, 13.7 million were employed within the service industry; 3.3 million in manufacturing; 2.7 million in construction and 0.9 million worked in agriculture.

Six years later and the panorama looks completely different. The number of people in employment in the first quarter of 2016 has fallen to 18.1 million. And the distribution within sectors is not the same as it was before.


The fact that a greater number of people are working within the tertiary sector has had an effect on the average wage in Spain.

The latest figures for the average wage show that a typical worker earns around 22,697 euro a year. However, for those employed in construction and manufacturing, the figure would be around 26,000 euro and 27,700 euro per annum.

Most jobs in all other sectors would pay less than the average, especially those in the commerce or hostelry sector, where the average salary registers at 19,069 and 13,851 euro a year.

So many jobs have been lost in the higher-paying sectors. Which has resulted in a greater number of Spaniards working in jobs that pay less-than-average wages.