Employees of the German industry, which have just been awarded a 4.3 % increase, for officials from slovenia, who are in their fourth strike in a month, the economic upswing is accompanied, almost everywhere, a rise in wage claims. Even if, in many countries, the link between employment and wages is no longer what it was before the crisis, forcing sometimes the politicians to get involved…
Wages have declined by 7.6% between 2009 and 2014, according to the Spanish trade unions, the remuneration shall take off much, despite the recovery. The national Institute of statistics (INE) has reported a drop of 0.8 % of the average wage in 2016, while corporate profits explode. Economists explain this situation by the precariousness of employment and a high unemployment rate, at 16 %.
After having asked in vain, last year, at the employers to ensure that wages follow the upward curve of growth, the conservative government of Mariano Rajoy has taken the bull by the horns. And increased the minimum wage by 8 %, January 1, 2017, then 4 %, a year later. The prime minister has even promised to wear 858,55 euros per month, for 990 euros in 2020. Provided that the GDP is growing at over 2.5 % per year and that the economy created more than 450,000 jobs per year by then. The unions perceive the goal plausible.
After a decade of stagnation of the purchasing power – it remains 3 points below its 2008 peak, the bank of England starts to believe in a turnaround. “There are signs of wage growth “, estimated its quarterly report on February 7. The increase amounted to 2.5 % year on year, against 2 % a year earlier. But it is still below inflation (3 %). If this trend continues, it would put an end to years of strange weakness of wages in a country where the unemployment rate is 4.3% and the employment rate of 75.3 per cent.