Europe’s Massive Minimum Wage Disparity
Figures compiled by Eurostat show an enormous gulf in monthly minimum wage levels across the European Union. Luxembourg has the highest minimum wage in the EU by a considerable distance – Luxembourgers earn €1,874 before the deduction of income tax and social security contributions.
In Bulgaria, which has the lowest minimum wage in the EU, workers earn a mere €159. Romania comes second-last with monthly minimum wages of €178. Back towards the top of the scale, Belgium comes second and the Netherlands comes third. They had monthly minimum wages of €1,502 and €1,478 respectively. Ireland and France round off the top five.
By contrast, the United States has a monthly minimum wage of €961. 21 of the EU's 28 Member States (Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, the United Kingdom and Croatia) have national minimum wage legislation by national intersectoral agreement. Germany's minimum wage is set to take effect in January 2015.
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