The 2022 Report on the State of the Job Market in Spain by InfoJobs and Esade examines how salary offers have evolved following the pandemic and the advances made in pay transparency.
Last year, the average salary advertised in job offers in Spain was practically the same as in 2021 despite soaring inflation and the rise in the minimum interprofessional salary. There were, however, some exceptions in sectors such as information technology and telecommunications, and tourism and restaurants, where recruitment still poses a challenge.
These are some of the conclusions about the evolution of salaries drawn from the 2022 Report on the State of the Job Market in Spain written jointly by InfoJobs and Esade.
The average gross annual salary of all the ads with a visible pay offer published on InfoJobs was used as the point of reference for the report. In actuality, only 43.7% of ads disclosed a salary offer in 2022.
The European Pay Transparency Directive will oblige employers to disclose the salary
Even so, the report indicates that pay transparency has been improving year by year and is expected to continue to do so once the European Pay Transparency Directive is implemented in Spain. This regulation — which is currently in the pipeline — will oblige employers to disclose the starting salary of the positions they advertise, either in the job ad itself or before the interview.
The directive aims to compensate for the existing imbalance between the candidate and employer during the recruitment process. According to those backing the regulation in Brussels, this “information asymmetry” when it comes to salary limits the candidate’s room for maneuver when negotiating pay.
Higher salary offers than before the pandemic
In 2022, the average gross salary offer was €24,395, which represents a 0.7% drop compared to 2021. This is still the result of the economy stagnating during the pandemic. The job market came to a screeching halt because of COVID-19, affecting areas such as tourism, hotels, restaurants, and retail.
The salary outlook is returning to pre-pandemic levels
The only jobs offered during the pandemic were for essential activities (health) or professions that could be performed from home (IT/banking). Because these sectors tend to be better paid, the average salary was distorted for some time, especially in 2020.
Now that things are returning to normal and lower-skilled jobs have been recovered, pre-pandemic levels and more moderate incomes have once again been reached.
Based on data from the Labor Cost Survey of the 4th quarter of 2022 by the National Statistics Institute of Spain (INE), the total labor cost in Spain is €27,212 per person and year. Although this figure does not vary greatly from the €24,395 reported by InfoJobs, the context for both figures must be taken into account: the first is calculated based on real wages, while the latter is based on the salaries offered on the InfoJobs website.
Inflation and lost purchasing power
Prices rose 5.7% in 2022. Consequently, the purchasing power of families has plummeted, hitting -6.4% compared to last year.
It should be noted that the evolution of this indicator is decisive in explaining the behavior of salaries in the future. According to Esade professor Pedro Aznar, “the uncertainty regarding the war in Ukraine and its effect on energy prices will be key” in the future of the economy.
In fact, this inflationary impulse is already being transferred to collective bargaining agreements. In 2022, the wages established by such agreements increased by 2.8%.
Change in mentality in job seekers
A trend already observed in 2021 following the pandemic grew more intense in 2022. A change in mentality has been observed in many workers, who are willing to leave their jobs in search of better working conditions that extend beyond salary.
Many workers are willing to leave their jobs in search of better working conditions that extend beyond salary
They demand not just financial compensation but also a higher quality of work life, characterized by stability, professional growth, and flexibility. We are witnessing a shift in values and priorities. This, plus the fact that salaries have not risen, has made it even more difficult to fill certain jobs.
The increase in the minimum salary benefits the lowest-paid positions
In five years, the minimum interprofessional salary has gone from €736 (2018) to €1,080 (2023). This increase has especially benefited the lower salary brackets, although it has been hardly noticeable in the average gross salary of the employed population.
The evolution of salaries by sectors
Information technology and telecommunications continue to lead the salaries advertised on InfoJobs, followed by engineering, real estate and construction. Jobs in the commercial and sales sector rank fourth. However, offers in public administration, which occupied second place in 2020, have been relegated to sixth place this year.
The salaries in the healthcare sector have lost some momentum after the boom experienced in recent years due to the health crisis. The pharmaceutical sector, though, has maintained its 2021 trend and continued to improve its salary offer.
Recruitment difficulties persist
The tourism and restaurant sectors have struggled to recruit staff. Job offers have increased much more than the demand has and, consequently, the average salary offered in this sector has increased by 5.1%, more than any other sector in the job market.
In 2022, the offers posted on InfoJobs in IT and telecommunications had the highest average gross salary in the entire job market at €32,520. This has been the case for a decade now, since the offer has continuously grown faster than demand, thus leading to increased wages.
Almost all the ICT subsectors boast strong compensation, including software architecture, programming, analysis, quality, project management, etc. Only specific subsegments, such as hardware, telecommunications, and helpdesk, saw slight annual decreases.
The struggle to recruit has spurred the creation of in-house talent recruitment programs
The report highlights that the recruitment struggles experienced in certain sectors due to imbalanced supply and demand have spurred the creation of in-house talent recruitment programs.
The 10 highest-paying jobs in Spain
The IT and telecommunications sectors account for most of the highest-paying occupations. In first place is the ICT business analyst, earning €53,727/year. Other top positions also include jobs in the IT sector, such as ICT systems architect or software architect, both making over €50,000.
Outside the IT and telecommunications sector, the job of real estate agent also stands out in second place on the list, with a gross annual salary of €51,721.
Join the Do Better community
Register for free and enjoy our recommendations and personalised content.