Using figures from the Eurostat statistics agency, the ETUC shows how prices soared in 2022 by 9.2%, more than double the level of pay increases, recorded at 4.4%. The ETUC points out that the gap is even wider for the most essential living costs with housing and utilities prices rising by 18%, four times faster than wages, while transport and food (12%) increased three times faster. Real wages, taking into account inflation, have fallen in every EU member state this year by as much as 9%. The ETUC contrasts this with data on real profits which actually increased by 1%.
Price rises twice the level of wage increases
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EPSU was part of an ETUC delegation that met with employers and representatives of the European Council, Commission, Central Bank and Eurogroup in the biannual Macroeconomic Dialogue on 23 May. ETUC general secretary, Luca Visentini, pointed out that wage developments in the last quarter of 2021 had been the lowest for several years, that the wage share in the economy was declining and that there was no evidence that pay increases had pushed inflation higher. EPSU general secretary, Jan Willem Goudriaan, underlined the need for action to address low pay and precarious work in health and