The Narrowing European Pay Gap

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Pay patterns are changing very quickly in Europe, but big differences remain.

The pay gap between Europe's richest and poorest countries has fallen significantly over the last six years. According to the Federation of European Employer's (FedEE) latest Pay in Europe report, the gross median hourly earnings of employees in Denmark were 65 times (65x) higher than in Moldova on February 1st 2007. This compares with a pay gap of 70x in 2006 and 91x in 2001.

Since 2001, all countries in the bottom half of the FedEE league table, except Poland and Portugal, have been able to narrow the gap with Denmark. Higher up in the league table, however, there have been falls in relative earnings in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain and the UK. Norway has now taken the number two spot from Luxembourg, with relative earnings climbing from 71% of Denmark's in 2001 to 90% in 2007.

The report also reveals differences in pay between those in senior management positions and those in unskilled service sector positions within individual countries. This differential varies from 12.9x in Moldova and 11x in Latvia to just 3.9x in Norway and 4.1x in Malta.

The Pay in Europe 2007 report provides hourly wage and salary data for 32 standard job positions in 48 European countries and territories at February 1st 2007. It is available free of charge to members of the Federation of European Employers (FedEE) and a sample report for journalists may be obtained from the FedEE press office on +44 (0)207 520 9264 or via email.

Now in its eighth annual edition, the Pay in Europe report is an important reference guide for major employers when reviewing remuneration levels on a pan-European basis.

The Federation of European Employers (FedEE) is the leading organisation for multinational employers operating across Europe. It was founded in 1989 with financial assistance from the European Commission, and operates today on an independent basis with corporate members located throughout the world. The popular FedEE website is at


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