The average salary shoots up 20% in just two years due to the push of inflation

Although in no case are exorbitant increases being observed, wages are not escaping inflationary pressure either, which has already accumulated three consecutive months above 10%. In this context, wages climbed on average to 2,153.8 euros per month in the second quarter of the year, which is 4.3% more than a year ago and 19.3% more than the level registered in the same period of 2020, and the highest figure in a second quarter since the beginning of the series, in the year 2000, as reflected in the labor cost figures published yesterday by the INE.

In other words, in just two years, the salary bill that the employer supports has grown almost 20% spurred on by the return to normality after the worst months of the pandemic that led to a 'boom' in demand and an acceleration in hiring and salary revisions. And now, with the war in Ukraine, the increase in energy and fuel prices and a CPI that makes the shopping basket more expensive by more than 15%, according to the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU).

Evolution of salary cost


of salary cost

In short, the rising cost of living is moving at times to salaries. This is precisely the circumstance that the Bank of Spain has asked to avoid in order to circumvent what are known as “second round effects”. And this was also the battle horse that ended up unseating the negotiations between employers and unions for an Agreement for Employment and Collective Bargaining (AENC).

Hospitality, double reality

Without an umbrella for salary negotiations, the result of the updates and signing of new agreements shows a moderation in the revaluations, taking into account the advance of the CPI, of 2.6% rise until the month of August. The figure given by the INE, of aggregate salary cost -it does not only include workers covered by a collective agreement- shows revaluations of almost double (+4.3%). Even excluding the variable factor of salaries (extraordinary payments and arrears), that is, the ordinary salary cost, it can be seen that in the first quarter it rose by 4.1%, to 1,808.2 euros per month.

By activities, the hotel industry led the increase in wages in the second quarter, with a year-on-year increase of 40.3%, reaching 1,242.84 euros, the highest figure since the fourth quarter of 2008. Even so, it remains the activity with the lowest salary -finance, information and communications reach 5,978, 4,085 and 3,187 euros per month, respectively-.

While the minors correspond to the hospitality industry (1,242.8 euros); administrative activities (1,431 euros); other services (1,510 euros) and artistic activities (1,546 euros).

By autonomous communities, the highest labor costs were recorded by Madrid (3,377.5 euros per worker and month), the Basque Country (3,160.2 euros), Catalonia (3,118.9 euros) and Navarra (3,077.7 euros). By contrast, the lowest were in Extremadura and the Canary Islands, with 2,327 and 2,432 euros, respectively.

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