The average wages of European workers increased significantly between 2005 and 2006, according to the annual report on pay developments from Eurofound’s European Industrial Relations Observatory (EIRO). However, there are considerable differences between the former EU15 countries and twelve new EU Member States, both in terms of trends and the level of pay increase.
The average collectively agreed nominal increases across the European Union rose from 4.9 percent in 2005 to 5.6 percent in 2006. When adjusted for inflation, the average collectively agreed wage increase across all 27 EU Member States was 2.7 percent in 2006, up from 1.9 percent in 2005.
In the former EU15 countries, the average increase in 2006 stood at 2.9 percent, up from 2.8 percent in 2005, while the rate of real increase rose from 0.6 percent in 2005 to 0.8 percent in 2006. More significantly, however, the average increase in the 12 new Member States rose from 7.5 percent in 2005 to 9.1 percent in 2006, and the rate of real increase climbed from 3.5 percent to 5.2 percent.
“While the overall figures for the 27 EU Member States indicate continued moderation in terms of both nominal and real pay increases in Europe, in line with EU monetary policy, the findings in this report regarding the twelve new EU Member States paint a different picture,” says, Jorma Karppinen, Eurofound’s Director. “However, these findings are good news for workers in the twelve new EU Member States. The pay gap between workers in the former EU15 and the twelve new EU Member States is closing rapidly.”
The annual update from Eurofound’s European Industrial Relations Observatory (EIRO) aims to provide a broad, general indication of trends in pay increases over 2005 and 2006 across the EU Member States and Norway.