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The purchasing power of young people: a lost battle in the last decade

Young leaders inspiring change and setting the course for a better future.

Jesus Carames

August 2, 2023 | 9:00 a.m.

Since 2011, the wages of people under 25 years of age have experienced an increase of 7,7%, which is well below the increase in the CPI, which is 15,2%. This is highlighted by a recent report from the Labor Observatory, which highlights the job insecurity that affects young people in Spain.

decline in real terms

According to this report, the salary of young people has experienced a real fall of 4,4%. This reality is also reflected, although to a lesser extent, in workers between 25 and 34 years of age, with a decrease of 2,5%, and in those between 35 and 44 years of age, with a decrease of 2,7%.

The average salary in Catalonia stood at 28.145 euros in 2021, but the majority of the population is below 24.000 euros.

Inflation impact

Although there was an increase of 3,9% in the average salary compared to 2020, the real increase, after considering inflation, remained at 0,9%. Half of the population received less than 23.962 euros in 2021, and 10% did not exceed 11.000 euros per year.

In addition, a quarter of the employees did not reach 16.500 euros, taking into account that the minimum professional salary in 2021 was 13.370 euros for a full day and that the statistics also include part-time jobs.

pay inequalities

Young people under the age of 25 received, on average, 13.218 euros in 2021. In contrast, those between 25 and 34 years old obtained 23.026 euros, a figure below the 28.220 euros of people between 35 and 44 years of age.

Moreover, The most remunerated age groups are those between 45 and 54 years (30.941 euros) and those over 55 (30.995 euros).

Regarding salary inequalities, the 10% of the population with the highest salaries earn 4,6 times more than the 10% with the lowest salaries. While the former receive 49.635 euros, the latter receive 10.898. The trend remains stable, since in the last decade, this distance has fluctuated between 4,6 and 5,4.

Conclusions

This report reinforces the idea that job insecurity has hit the young especially hard, a group that, far from seeing how its purchasing power strengthens over time, suffers its constant erosion. In a context of rising inflation, the ability of these workers to meet their expenses decreases, further aggravating their situation of economic vulnerability.

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