Eurostat Notes Persistent Gap Between Median Gross Hourly Earnings Across EU

Median gross hourly earnings largely vary between EU member states, reaching a fourfold lag in terms of purchasing power standards, Eurostat said on Monday.

“As measured in October 2018, the highest median gross hourly earnings were recorded in Denmark (€27.2) [$33], ahead of Luxembourg (€19.6), Sweden (€18.2), Belgium and Ireland (€18.0 each), Finland (€17.5) and Germany (€17.2). In contrast, the lowest median gross hourly earnings were registered in Bulgaria (€2.4) followed by Romania (€3.7), Hungary and Lithuania (€4.4 each), Latvia (€4.9), Poland (€5.0), Croatia and Portugal (€5.4 each) as well as in Slovakia (€5.6). In other words, across Member States, the highest national median gross hourly earnings was 11 times higher than the lowest when expressed in euro,” the press release said.

When expressed in purchasing power standards (PPS), which eliminates the differences in price levels, it is a fourfold lag.

“As measured in October 2018, the highest median gross hourly earnings in PPS were recorded in Denmark (19.2 PPS), ahead of Germany (16.1 PPS), Belgium (15.7 PPS), Luxembourg (15.1 PPS), Sweden (14.7 PPS) and the Netherlands (14.3 PPS). At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest median gross hourly earnings were registered in Bulgaria (4.6 PPS) followed by Portugal (6.0 PPS), Latvia (6.4 PPS), Lithuania (6.5 PPS), Hungary (6.8 PPS) and Romania (6.9 PPS),” the statistics agency said.

Despite efforts to narrow it, the wealth gap between the west and the east as well as the north and the south remains a feature of Europe.