Recruitment News

Italy and Spain’s CEOs still enjoying high salaries, despite soaring unemployment levels

As I live in Spain this was of no surprise to me!

The latest review of remuneration levels across Europe reveals a complex pattern of winners and losers

The 12th edition of Europe’s most comprehensive review of remuneration levels has just been published by The Federation of European Employers (FedEE). Pay in Europe 2013 provides median pay figures for 32 job positions in 47 different countries and territories ranging from the micro states of Andorra and Liechtenstein to the continents biggest and most populous economies such as Germany and the Russian Federation. The figures are expressed as gross hourly rates and exclude bonus, commission, 13/14th month payments and benefits in kind.

This year Denmark continues to offer the highest gross pay levels for those in middle order jobs, although the countries with the highest basic CEO salaries are in the two struggling economies of Italy and Spain.  Generally, the differential between Europe’s poorer and higher paying countries is narrowing, although for some countries such as Moldova — where gross hourly pay levels are just 4% of those in Denmark —  improvement remains slow.  In fact, nine countries remain with median wages and salaries less than 10% of those in Denmark — Moldova (4%), Belarus (5%), Albania (5%), Ukraine (6%), Bulgaria (7%), Macedonia (7%), Serbia (7%), Romania (9%) and The Russian Federation (9%).

Speaking today at the launch of this year’s report Robin Chater, Secretary-General of the Federation of European Employers (FedEE), pointed out that “the pay gap between Denmark the other higher paying states of Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland is now closing fast.  There are also some signs that companies are converting bonus payments into base salary for senior staff and that in many eastern and southern European states the increased attentions of tax authorities is bringing many hitherto unrecorded payments into the formal payroll. Although gross salary levels in eastern Europe are rising, the continuation of inflation rates well above the European average is meaning that for many people in countries such as Romania and Turkey real pay levels are failing to improve.”

For further details about the Pay in Europe 2013 Report please contact John Ingham at the FedEE Press Office on 0207 520 264 or

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