Spaniards working longer and earning less

Spaniards working longer and earning less
Photo of woman working long hours:Shutterstock
Average incomes fell in Spain during the first three months of the year while the working week grew longer, according to data released by the country's National Institute of Statistics.

"If we want to get out of this situation, there's only one way to do it and that's by working more and, unfortunately,  earning less."

Spain seems to be following that advice from Gerardo Díaz Ferrán, former chairman of the country's main federation of employers,  on how to end the financial crisis, according to the Spanish edition of The Huffington Post.

Ferrán is currently in jail, charged with concealment of assets and money laundering, but he can perhaps glean some satisfaction that the economy outside his cell is developing as he predicted.

The Quarterly Survey of Labour Costs showed that the average gross monthly income, including remuneration in cash and in kind, fell by 0.2 per cent to €1,805.76 ($2,446.26) in the first three months of 2014, while the average basic salary remained steady at €1,632.94.

For companies, the average total cost of employing someone, including Social Security contributions, fell 0.2 per cent, to €2,474.40 per month, compared with the first quarter of 2013.

Spaniards also worked 1.6 per cent longer each week, compared with the same period in 2013, for an average of 34.3 hours.

Average non-salaried benefits – such as redundancy pay, compensation, clothing allowances etc. – also fell 10.8 per cent, to €94.65.

The number of vacancies in Spain during the first three months of the year stood at 54,965, 87.2 per cent of which were in the service sector, but most companies surveyed said that they were not currently hiring.

5.9 million people in Spain are currently unemployed.

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