Men earn 21 percent more than women in Spain

The Local Spain
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Men earn 21 percent more than women in Spain
Women earn 21 percent less than men in Spain. Photo: JOSE JORDAN / AFP

The gender wage gap is still a problem in Spain and not only do women earn less than men, but twice as many women are also low-paid employees.


Women earn on average 21 percent less than men in Spain and they are in the minority when it comes to the highest wage brackets, according to recent data from Spain’s National Statistics Institute’s (INE) Active Population Survey.


The survey also found that the number of female employees with the lowest salaries is double that of men. This is due to the fact that women still do the majority of the low-paid work in Spain.

And it seems the situation is not improving. The gender wage gap has barely narrowed by six points since 2006 and has even increased by two points since 2020 when the difference was 19 percent.

Men earned an average of €2,276 per month in 2021, while women earned €1,883 per month or €393 less.

The wage gap widens even further when it comes to salaries in the highest-paid jobs. One in three men received a high salary compared with one in four women the study found.

When looking at the lowest salaries – considered to be less than €1,376 –, 40.5 percent of women received below this amount compared to only 20.2 percent of men.

According to researcher Florentino Felgueroso at the Foundation for Applied Economics Studies (FEDEA) women in Spain are often less skilled and have low-paid jobs because the burden of childcare, as well as care for the elderly, usually falls on them.

The jobs held by women in Spain are also some of the most precarious. According to data from the INE, the lowest-paid jobs are in domestic work as cleaners or care workers and 90 percent of these are women.

The study found that this is also true of the second lowest-paid jobs in the hospitality industry and admin sector.

At the other end of the scale are the highest-paid industries – one of which is electric and gas workers, where there 30 percent more men employed than women. There are also twice as many more men than women working in the information and communications sector, another industry with high salaries.


Among the poorest workers, 10 percent of men earn a salary of €595, while the poorest 10 percent of women receive just €562. On the other side of the spectrum, the richest 10 percent of men earn €5,130 per month, compared to €5,029 per month for women.  

Another factor that widens the pay gap the study discovered is that there are six times more women with part-time contracts than men in Spain - 22 percent compared to just 6.6 percent.  

Spain’s gender pay gap is higher than the EU average of 13 percent according to the latest data from the European Commission.   

The latest data available for France shows that men earn on average 16 percent more than women while in Germany it stands at 18 percent. 

According to the UK’s Office for National Statistics the latest data from April 2022 showed that men earned 8.3 percent more than women.


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