Between 2015 and 2022, according to data from the Ministry of Labour cited in economist Eugénio Rosa study, the average salary will increase by €96 euros, to €1,048, while the national minimum wage will rise to €705 (according to the intention expressed by the Government).
The “wage distortion”, as the economist calls it, is determining that the national minimum wage (currently €665 euros) represents an increasing proportion of the average wage, having already reached 67.3 percent of the average wage.
“This fact is that Portugal is transforming into a country of minimum wages, as an increasing number of workers receive only that wage”, says the consultant economist at CGTP.
According to Eugénio Rosa, “in recent years there has been great political concern to increase the national minimum wage, neglecting to update the salaries of more qualified workers, which is causing strong wage distortions in the country and transforming Portugal into a country in which more and more workers receive only the minimum wage or a very close remuneration”.
The situation in the Public Administration, whose salaries have been practically frozen since 2009, “is dramatic, being almost impossible to hire highly qualified workers with the necessary skills”, stresses the economist.
In the study, Eugénio Rosa states that on the website of the Institute of Employment and Professional Training (IEFP) there are 156 job offers for civil engineers, electrical technicians, mechanics, agronomists, among others, “whose salaries offered, in their vast majority, vary between €760 euros and €1,000 gross", that is, before IRS and Social Security discounts.
“How can the country retain qualified staff?, asks the economist, stressing that without highly qualified workers, the country's economic growth and development will be impossible.
In addition, he continues, “the country spends an important part of its resources in training highly qualified young people in universities who then leave and will contribute to the development of other countries, because they do not find decent wages and working conditions in their own country”.
Eugénio Rosa believes that “what is happening in the SNS [National Health Service] should open the eyes of politicians”, with doctors and nurses “leaving the SNS for large private health groups, which attract them by offering better pay and conditions”.