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Are minimum wages in Europe adequate and effective?

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Are minimum wages in Europe adequate and effective?

Despite nominal increases in statutory minimum wages reaching an all-time high in the EU in 2023, minimum wage workers in most EU countries saw their purchasing power decline or just about compensated.

The impacts of inflation as Europe recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic meant that wage setting actors largely made their decisions under a cloud of uncertainty, and the impacts of in some cases substantial increases in nominal rates were muted.

The latest episode of Eurofound Talks, recorded shortly before Eurofound publishes its harmonised analysis of 2024 minimum wage developments, looks at the changes to minimum wages in 2023. Mary McCaughey speaks with Eurofound experts Christine Aumayr-Pintar and Carlos Vacas-Soriano about the adequacy of minimum wages in Europe as they stand at the moment, how the EU has sought to improve the situation of low-wage earners through a Directive on adequate minimum wages, and how widespread the issue of minimum wage non-compliance is in the European Union.

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James Higgins

James Higgins

Press contact Communication Officer +353-1-204-3100
Måns Mårtensson

Måns Mårtensson

Press contact Media & Promotion Manager Media relations, marketing and promotion +353-1-204 3124

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Eurofound, a tripartite European Union Agency, provides knowledge to assist in the development of social, employment and work-related policies

Eurofound (European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions) is a tripartite EU body, whose mission is to provide knowledge to assist in the development of better social, employment and work-related policies.

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