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The ETUC, which represents labour organisations in 36 countries, has released a graphic-based wage report showing that in the majority of countries where unemployment has risen, salaries are falling, with serious consequences in terms of growing poverty risk and social exclusion.
The infographic shows how wages have developed across all 28 EU member states between 2009 and 2012. Interestingly, despite the economic crisis good wage growth was recorded in eleven countries over this period. Bulgaria was the standout performer with +5.4% growth followed by more modest gains in France (+0.8), Germany (+0.5%) and Sweden (+0.5%).
The Eurozone countries with the sharpest wage declines since 2009 were Greece and Portugal – both of which have been propped up by EU-bailouts – along with the Estonia.
In a statement before the release of the official unemployment figures, the ETUC stated: “Ten months before the European elections, mass unemployment together with wage-cutting policies are a dangerous mix for citizens’ support to the European project. The ETUC warns European leaders: a change of direction is urgently needed to restore growth and confidence.”
Yesterday, it was reported that the number of people unemployed in the Eurozone has risen compared to the prior year, though the fact that June’s unemployment rate was marginally better than the previous month has been taken as a sign by some that the region may make a muted recovery from recession later this year.
To view the wage developments infographic of the European Union, please click here.