Wide disparities between minimum wages in member states of the European Union

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There are wide disparities between minimum wages in member states of the European Union, where the highest is around nine times the lowest, the bloc’s statistical agency Eurostat said on Friday.

Twenty-two EU member states had a national minimum wage as of Jan. 1 this year. Ten countries, located in the east of the EU, had monthly minimum wages below 500 euros while seven countries, all located in the west and north of the EU, monthly minimum wages were well above 1,000 euros.

According to Eurostat, the lowest were 235 euros per month in Bulgaria, 275 euros in Romania, and 380 euros in Lithuania and Latvia.

While, the highest were 1,999 euros per month in Luxembourg, 1,563 euros in Ireland and 1,552 euros in the Netherlands.

The federal minimum wage in the United States was 1,192 euros per month in January 2017.

However, the EU statistical agency argued that, when the minimum wages are expressed in purchasing power, the inequalities between the countries will be smaller.

Meanwhile, Eurostat said, compared with 2008, minimum wage increased in all concerned countries except Greece. In Greece, the minimum wage dropped by 14 percent to 684 euros per month.

Six countries — Denmark, Italy, Cyprus, Austria, Finland and Sweden — do not have a minimum wage.