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How much do migrant workers earn in each EU nation?

Aside from history, culture, and architecture, European Union countries' good living standards, cheap tax rates, and education system entice foreign visitors not only to visit for a short time but also to consider permanently relocating there.

The ability to live and visit all European Union nations without a visa, as well as access to affordable national healthcare plans and high incomes, are among the primary reasons that a huge number of foreigners go to bloc countries for job purposes.

What are the countries with the highest minimum wages?

Salaries in European Union countries vary, and sometimes significantly, prompting workers to consider which EU country would provide them with the most prospects.

According to Eurostat estimates, the minimum salary in European Union countries ranged from €399 per month in Bulgaria to a total of €2,387 per month in Luxembourg.

“On January 1, 2023, 22 out of the 27 European Union Member States had a national minimum wage including Cyprus (as of January 1, 2023). European Union countries without a national minimum wage were: Denmark, Italy, Austria, Finland and Sweden. Monthly minimum wages vary widely across the Member States, from €399 in Bulgaria to €2,387 in Luxembourg,” the statement reads.

Using the level of their gross monthly minimum salaries applicable in EU countries on January 1, this year, expressed in euros, EU states can be divided into three major groups:

  • Luxembourg, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland, and France are among the countries with national minimum wages that exceed €1,500. (In France, the national minimum wage ranged from €1,709 to €2,387.

  • Spain and Slovenia have national minimum wages that are higher than €1,000 but less than €1,500 per month, with wages ranging from €1,167 in Spain to €1,203 in Slovenia.

  • Portugal, Cyprus, Malta, Greece, Lithuania, Estonia, Czech Republic, Croatia, Latvia, Hungary, and Bulgaria all have national minimum wages that are less than €1,000 per month.

Eurostat classifies all candidate nations with a national minimum salary as group 3, with minimum wages ranging from €298 in Albania to €532 in Montenegro.

“The average annual growth rate between January 2013 and January 2023 was highest in Romania (+14.4 per cent) followed by Lithuania (+11.2 per cent) and Bulgaria (+9.7 per cent). The lowest average annual growth rates among EU countries were recorded in Malta (+1.7 per cent), followed by France (+ 1.8 per cent) and Greece (+ 2.0 per cent),” Eurostat revealed in a statement.

The proportion of employees earning the minimum wage varies across EU member states. Eurostat reports that in 2018, the fraction of employees paid less than 105% of the national minimum wage was greater than 10% in five EU Member States having a minimum wage, namely the following countries:

  • Slovenia (15.2 per cent)

  • Bulgaria (14.1 per cent)

  • Romania (13.1 per cent)

  • Poland (12.1 per cent)

  • France (11.6 per cent)

At the same period, the following nations had the lowest share of employees earning less than 105 percent of the national minimum wage:

  • Spain (0.8 per cent)

  • Belgium (0.9 per cent)

  • Malta (1.8 per cent)

Unfortunately, certain nations are not covered by Eurostat's minimum wage figures.

“As of 1 January 2023, there was no national minimum wage in Denmark, Italy, Austria, Finland and Sweden nor in the EFTA countries of Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. In all those countries, minimum wages are laid down by collective agreements for a range of specific sectors,” the statement of Eurostat reads.

According to Eurostat, the average hourly labour cost in the European Union in 2021 was €29.1, ranging from €7.0 in Bulgaria to a total of €46.9 in Denmark.

Nevertheless, in the same year, the unadjusted gender pay disparity in EU countries was 12.7%, ranging from -0.2% in Luxembourg to 20.50% in Estonia.

In 2021, the average net yearly income of a single worker without children in the EU was €24,947, ranging from €6,952 in Bulgaria to €45,787 in Luxembourg.

Eurostat also found that the net yearly income of an average working couple with two children in the EU was €53,364 in the same year, ranging from €14,825 in Bulgaria to €101,065 in Luxembourg.

“In 2021, the share of non-wage costs in the total labour costs, for the whole economy, was 24.6 per cent in the EU, while it was 25.1 per cent in the euro area,” the statement reads.

The share of non-wage costs varies between EU countries, with Sweden (32.0%), France (31.9%), and Italy (31.9%) having the greatest shares (28.3 per cent). At the same period, the lowest shares were recorded in Lithuania (3.7%), Romania (4.9%), and Ireland (8.7 per cent).

How many non-EU citizens work in EU countries today?

According to the European Office for Statistics, the EU activity rate of working age for citizens from non-European countries in 2021 was 70.0 percent, compared to 78.9 percent for nationals and 81.5 percent for citizens of other EU nations.

According to the same source, in 2021, 59.1 percent of non-EU nationals living in EU countries were employed, significantly fewer than the 74.4 percent employed by persons from other EU countries and nationalities (74.0 per cent).

According to Eurostat, among employed adults aged 20-64 living in European Union countries, 11.2 percent of residents from other EU countries and 11.0 percent of non-EU citizens were self-employed in 2021.



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