Minimum wages in 2023: Annual review

The 2023 annual review of minimum wages was prepared in the context of unprecedented inflation across Europe. While this led to hefty increases in nominal wage rates in many countries, it was in many cases not enough to maintain workers’ purchasing power. Based on developments over the last decade, this report shows that, overall, minimum wage earners in nearly all countries saw their purchasing power rising, the gap between their wages and average wages narrowing, and to some degree growth exceeding labour productivity development. Despite the short-term losses in real terms, these longer-term gains did not disappear in 2023. Even in the context of rising inflation, the processes of wage setting did not change substantially. But the early impacts of the EU directive on adequate minimum wages are noticeable, with more countries electing to use the international ‘indicative reference values’ mentioned in the directive – 50% of the average or 60% of the median wage – when determining their targets for new levels. This year’s report presents, for the first time, an in-depth insight into net minimum wages for single adults, through the EUROMOD tax–benefit microsimulation model, while presenting the latest research findings on minimum wages, published during 2022.

Eurofound (2023), Minimum wages in 2023: Annual review, Minimum wages in the EU series, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.

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