These are the two communities with the highest salaries in the entire country


There are two autonomous communities that have the highest salaries compared to the rest of Spain. Specifically, in Madrid and the Basque Country more and more are earned compared to the average salary in the rest of the country, a difference that grows even more if we compare it with the salaries of Andalusians, Murcians, Extremadurans, La Rioja or Castilians.

Madrid, the Basque Country, Navarra and Catalonia, in the lead

The salaries paid in the communities of Madrid, the Basque Country, Navarra and Catalonia have been above average than what has been charged in the rest of the country for decades. But in the last ten years the difference has become greater, at least in the first two.

If in 2011 the salary for a full-time day that was paid in Madrid was 2,053 euros and in the Basque Country 2,114 euros, in 2021 they had risen, respectively, to 2,368 euros and 2,452 euros. This is indicated by the data available from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), which is in line with what was observed by other analysts, such as the General College of Economists, which points to these two autonomies among the most competitive.

The presence of multinationals and managerial positions, or large offices, for example, is a qualitative element that raises the average salary, the experts explain. Antonio Pedraza, president of the Financial Commission of the College of Economists of Spain, told EFE that there is a very direct link between salaries, on the one hand, and competitiveness and GDP growth from one community to another.

“Let’s not forget that Madrid, the Basque Country and Catalonia are the only Spanish communities located above the European average in the European Union’s regional competitiveness index,” he adds.

Other experts point to other factors. Thus, the labor lawyer Fabián Valero points out that a factor that also influences territorial wage inequality is the fact that large companies with operations throughout the country do not have a single collective agreement of their own“but 52 provincial agreements”.

“In this way, they promote inequality by betting on paying differently according to the provinces, despite being identical jobs or of equal value,” says Valero, from Zeres Abogados. The lawyer recalls thatthe cost of living is not the same in all territories.

In addition, regarding the analysis of wage inequality between territories, it also introduces other elements that should be taken into account in the comparison, such as the percentage of part-time hiring and how much is voluntary and real or not.

For his part, Pedraza points more to the relationship between productivity and wages: the productivity bonus may not affect all employees, but on average, it does count, he explains. “It is a very widespread bonus, and it increases the average salary in regions where there is higher consumption and better sales, such as the Basque Country and Madrid, where there are many domiciled companies that give economic strength to the region”, he affirms.

Inequality between territories

According to INE data, in the two autonomous communities where full-time earnings are the most, Madrid and the Basque Country, the average salary has increased by 15%. In contrast, the improvement in the average salary in the country as a whole is 13%. That is, the distance increases.

But the jump is much greater if we look at the autonomies in which the worst is paid: the most striking example is Estremadurawhere much less is earned than in the rest of the country (1,632 euros) and where the average salary has only improved by 5% since 2011.

And in others such as Andalucía, Castilla y León, Castilla-La Mancha, Murcia, Aragón or La Rioja, where the salary is below the national average, the salary increase registered in the last decade has oscillated between 6% (Aragón) and 11% (Murcia). The distance, therefore, grows even more between the two extremes.

Competitiveness and income

The Community of Madrid, Navarra and the Basque Country have been the most competitive autonomies in the last five years, according to the College of Economists of Spain, whose studies also point to the growing “polarization” between these communities and the rest. Catalonia is at the next level, that of average competitiveness.

The classification is based on seven criteriasuch as the size of the market and economic dynamism; The work market; human capital; the institutional environment; the infrastructures; the business fabric and technological innovation.

All these data also fit with other INE statistics, which indicate, for example, that Guipúzcoa, Madrid and Vizcaya are the provinces with higher annual income per inhabitant. Or that the Spanish municipality with the highest income is Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid), the second is Matadepera (Barcelona) and the third is Boadilla del Monte (Madrid). And San Sebastian, Girona and Madrid are the province capitals with a higher percentage of census sections with very high rentalways according to the INE.

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