Eurofound publishes updated, standardised minimum wage data for 2021
Eurofound has published updated monthly comparable data, converted to euro and standardised across 12 months, for 21 EU Member States and the United Kingdom for 2021.
Despite the unusually tough economic and labour market conditions, most EU Member States made nominal and real increases to their minimum wages in 2020 and early 2021. Some countries lived up to earlier promises or pre-agreements, while other countries strayed somewhat off their original path but still maintained the overall trend of increasing minimum wages in line with other wages. Although most countries were cautious in the level of increase granted, low inflation rates meant that the value of minimum wages still went up beyond rises in consumer prices.
Speaking on the publishing of the data, Christine Aumayr-Pintar, Senior Research Manager, said: 'For the time being, at least, we can see that the policy response in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic is distinct from the approach taken during the global financial crisis, when a greater number of countries moved quickly to freeze nominal minimum wages.'
- The data, displayed below, can be filtered and downloaded directly from the Eurofound website by clicking here.
- To read more analysis from Christine on minimum wage changes in Europe in 2021, please click here.
Data for each country are from January 2010 to January 2021, except for Germany where data are from January 2015.
Methods of conversion
- Converted values
- Rates for non-euro zone countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, United Kingdom) were converted to euro by applying the exchange rate applicable at the end of previous reference month; Conversions were also carried out for Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia for periods prior to accessing the euro zone.
- Rates for countries with more than 12 wage payments per year (Greece, Portugal, Spain, Slovenia) were converted by dividing the annual sum of the minimum wage by 12 calendar months;
- Rates for countries where the minimum wage is defined as an hourly rate (Germany, Ireland, United Kingdom) were converted to monthly rates by applying the weekly working hours provided in Eurostat, corresponding to 39.1 hours for Germany and 39 hours for Ireland, and the average number of usual weekly hours for full-time employees as provided in LFS (Eurostat lfsa_ewhun2) for the UK.
- The rate for Malta, where the minimum wage is defined at weekly frequency, was converted to a monthly rate considering 4.33 weeks per calendar month.
Figures represent the minimum wage applicable on 1 January of the given reference year.
- Hungary’s new rate for 2021 (HUF 167,400 or €467) comes into effect from 1 February 2021; Hungary’s minimum wage development in euro terms was affected by exchange rate changes.
- In Belgium and Spain, as of February 2021 a new rate is still being negotiated and not yet in effect.
- In the United Kingdom, a rate increase from GBP 8.72 to GBP 8.91 per hour will be effective from 1 April 2021.
- The new mechanism in Greece foresees a decision on the new rate for 2021 to be made in June 2021, to become applicable from July 2021.
- The German minimum wage was introduced in 2015 and the rate will be increased to €9.60 per hour (€1,627 per month) in July 2021, to €9.82 per hour (€1,664 per month) in January 2022 and to €10.45 per hour (1,771 per month) in July 2022.
In light of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union on 31 January 2020, it should be noted that data published on the Eurofound website may include the 28 EU Member States, as the UK was covered in earlier research. This will be progressively amended to reflect the current composition of the 27 EU Member States.