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Inflation has returned and has done so at rates not seen for decades in most developed economies. Spain has not remained unaffected by this episode of global inflation.
On June 7, 2022, the European Parliament and EU Member States reached an agreement on the Directive on adequate minimum wages. Despite the arrival of this Directive, differences in minimum wages between EU Member States will continue to exist for as long as there is no convergence in productivity and employment rates.
The growth of employment, and consequently the low levels of unemployment, have made it possible to increase the total wage bill, which is currently 3.0% above the pre-pandemic level; however, this gain has been due to the generation of low-paid jobs and the loss of employment of more than 2 Minimum Wages (MW)
The inflation woes currently afflicting us are well known by now, as are the causes, consequences and all the risks they entail. The response so far, while well-intentioned, has failed to solve the underlying problem and more forceful monetary policy action is almost inevitable as we move forward.
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The generation of low-paid jobs characterizes the recovery of the labor market. Despite the high inflation levels, real wages and the wage bill maintain positive growth. We expect formal employment to continue posting favorable year-on-year growth rates but with a more moderate increase.
It seems reasonable that in exceptional times, like the current one, the economic cost of the major increase in gas, oil and other commodity prices should be shared across the population as a whole — including pensioners. This would then help to reduce the risk of inflationary spirals and of future stagflation.
The sharp upturn in global and European inflation is raising questions in the business press and the general public about a problem we had forgotten about for many years.
Wages will attract close attention in the coming months. First, because rising inflation is placing wages under strain. Second, because there is uncertainty as to how much bargaining power employees and employers will have.