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Unequal rise in purchasing power and salaries since 2007

Average wages of executives went up 4.5% last year compared to 1.9% for employees, says new report

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09 January 2020 06:48 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

Working people in Catalonia are better off now than at any time since the start of the financial crisis in 2007 due to a general rise in purchasing power and salaries, says a new study carried out by the EADA business school. 

Yet, the report tracking personal wealth between 2007 and 2019 suggests that the improvement has not been equal across society, with those in executive and management positions doing better than everyday employees.

In that time, people in executive and management positions have seen their purchasing power go up by 5.9%, with their average annual salaries standing at 84,773 and 42,929 euros respectively in 2019, some 4.5% and 3.4% more than the previous year.

For workers, however, the improvement has been less, with their purchasing power increasing by 1.29%, and the average salary only going up 1.89% to 23,250 euros, meaning executives are 3,700 euros better off a year, compared to 431 euros for workers.

Wages in Catalonia 2% above Spanish average

While in general salaries in Catalonia are over 2% higher than the average for Spain as a whole, the report's authors point out that the rise in purchasing power and salaries does not match the growth in the economy over the past few years.

The improvement is attributed to such things as last year's agreement between employers and unions to raise wages by around 2%, the pay rise for public servants, the fact that prices have not risen much recently, and inflation remaining below 1% at the end of 2019.

Yet, the imbalance between executives and employees is a point of concern for the authors, who say the results show "a lack of equity that only deepens salary inequality within the system," which is something that in the long term "benefits no one." 

The report also shows differences across sectors, with banking executives at the top earning up to 92,000 euros a year, compared to the poorest paid workers dealing with the public in retail and tourism, with an average annual salary of a little over 17,000 euros.

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  • Jordi Costa, professor at the EADA business school, and Ernest Poveda, president of the ICSA group, speak ahead of the presentation of their study on January 9, 2020 (by Maria Belmez)

  • Jordi Costa, professor at the EADA business school, and Ernest Poveda, president of the ICSA group, speak ahead of the presentation of their study on January 9, 2020 (by Maria Belmez)

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