Bulgaria wages

Bulgaria’s minimum wage the lowest in the EU

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As of the start of 2022, Bulgaria has the lowest minimum wage (€332) among European Union countries, EU statistics agency Eurostat said on Friday (Jan. 28).

Currently, 21 out of the 27 EU member states have national minimum wages making Denmark, Italy, Cyprus, Austria, Finland and Sweden the exceptions.

Bulgaria was one of 12 member states, in the east and the south of the bloc, with minimum wages – before any tax and social security contributions are deducted – below €1000 per month.

The second-lowest minimum wage is in Latvia, (€500), followed by Romania (€515), Hungary (€542), Croatia (€624), Slovakia (€646), Czechia (€652), Estonia (€654), Poland (€655), Lithuania (€730), Greece (€774), Malta (€792) and Portugal (€823).

In Slovenia (€1 074) and Spain (€1126) minimum wages ranged just over €1000 per month, while in the remaining six Member States, minimum wages were above €1500 per month: France (€1603), Germany (€1621), Belgium (€1 658), the Netherlands (€1725), Ireland (€1 775) and Luxembourg (€2257), the EU statistics agency said.

For comparison, the federal minimum wage in the United States was €1110 in January 2022.

Across the group of 21 Member States in analysis, the highest minimum wage was almost 7 times higher than the lowest. However, the disparities are considerably smaller once price level differences are taken into account. When expressed in purchasing power standard (PPS), minimum wages in the Member States with lower price levels become relatively higher compared with those in the Member States with higher price levels.

By eliminating price differences, minimum wages ranged from 604 PPS per month in Bulgaria to 1707 PPS in Luxembourg, meaning that the highest minimum wage was almost 3 times higher than the lowest.

The data showing that minimum wages remain lower in the Balkans than in Western Europe is not surprising,

Earlier this month, at a discussion forum on restricting low-paid labour, data were made public that over 870,000 people in Bulgaria receive minimum monthly pay, or close to that sum, Bulgarian National Radio reported.

The Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB) has demanded that the minimum monthly salary for this year to be raised to 730 Leva (€373).