At the end of June it became known that the statutory minimum wage in Germany is to increase. Since the beginning of the year it has been 9.35 euros per hour. The responsible commission now recommended increasing it to 10.45 euros over the next two years, despite the Corona crisis. The increase is to take place in four stages. In Germany there has been a statutory minimum wage since the beginning of 2015. At that time it was 8.50 euros gross per hour and has so far been upgraded twice.
Minimum wage in Europe
21 of the 27 states of the European Union have a statutory minimum wage that applies nationwide and across industries. Germany is left behind by some states when it comes to the level of the minimum wage. However, the minimum wage also reflects the general price level in the respective country. It is therefore more informative to look at what workers can buy for the minimum wage instead of the pure sums.
This ranking is therefore based on the minimum wages in the artificial currency unit purchasing power standard (PPS). The statistics authority Eurostat uses a shopping basket for the conversion. For a PPS, the same amount of goods and services can theoretically be paid for in every country. In this way, stark differences are put into perspective a little. But there is also an enormous gap in purchasing power within the EU.
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# 21 Latvia
Latvia has the lowest minimum wage in the EU. In January 2020 it was 579 PPS per month. In terms of the pure euro sum, Latvia came in penultimate place in the EU with 430 euros.
# 20 Bulgaria
The minimum wage in Bulgaria was only 312 euros at the beginning of 2020. That was the lowest euro value in the Union. In terms of purchasing power, Bulgaria was next to last of the 21 EU countries with a minimum wage with 618 PPS.
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# 17 Czech Republic
In the Czech Republic, the monthly minimum wage was most recently 799 PPS (574 euros). In terms of purchasing power, this meant 17th place in the EU. The Czech Republic was ahead of Slovakia and Estonia.
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# 13 Greece
The crisis-ridden Greece is almost in the EU average when it comes to the minimum wage. 904 KKS (758 euros) are enough for 13th place.
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# 12 Romania
With Romania it becomes clear why the conversion into purchasing power standards makes sense. The Eastern European country is in 19th place with 466 euros, third from bottom. However, thanks to the low prices, the purchasing power of the minimum wage almost doubles to 913 PPS. Romania ranks twelfth and overtakes countries like Portugal, Hungary and Croatia.
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# 6 Ireland
In Ireland, the conversion from euros to purchasing power standards has the opposite effect. With 1656 euros, the island republic is in second place in the EU. In terms of purchasing power, it only comes in sixth place with 1287 PPS.
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# 5 France
In the case of France, the conversion changes little. Our neighbor is in sixth place for the euro (1539 euros). In terms of purchasing power standards, it is fifth (1397 PPS).
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# 4 Belgium
Belgium ranks fourth among 21 EU countries for both the minimum wage in euros (1594) and purchasing power standards (1397).
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# 3 Netherlands
There is no change in the Netherlands either. 1636 euros or 1460 PPS mean third place in each case.
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# 2 Germany
In Germany, on the other hand, employees get a comparatively high amount for their minimum wage. In any case, this applies in direct comparison with the rich EU countries, in which high living costs reduce purchasing power. With the sum of 1584 per month, Germany only makes fifth place in the EU. In terms of purchasing power standards, however, the Federal Republic ranks second with 1529 PPS.
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# 1 Luxembourg
Luxembourg is unmatched when it comes to the euro minimum wage. With 2142 euros, the Grand Duchy ranks almost a third above Ireland in second place. The high prices of living reduce the lead in purchasing power standards. With 1705 PPS, Luxembourg is still in second place to Germany. At the beginning of 2020, the NPP minimum wage in Luxembourg was almost three times as high as that of Latvia, which came last, and twice as high as the minimum wage in Portugal.