Polish salaries are catching up with the average gross salary in the EU faster, but it still takes 18 years for us to reach the average EU level of earnings, according to Grant Thornton's calculations, assuming that the wage growth dynamics of the last three years will continue in all the countries surveyed.
According to this year's edition of the "Salary Catch Up Index" report, in 2019 Poland was ranked seventh from the end in terms of average gross remuneration in the European Union countries. Nominally, Poles earned almost three times less than the EU average and almost five times less than in the leading ranking in Luxembourg. Compared to last year's report by the auditing and consulting company Grant Thornton, Poland has slightly overtaken Croatia and Hungary, giving way to Lithuania at the same time.
The breakdown of earnings looks different if the purchasing power of money in individual EU countries is taken into account. Then we are 8th from the bottom, and compared to the citizen of Luxembourg we are 3 times less wealthy.
Tomasz Wróblewski from Grant Thornton, presenting the report during the online conference, pointed out that in the last three years (2017-2019), the gross wage dynamics in Poland amounted to 5.6 percent annually (adjusted for inflation), while in the EU it was on average less than 0.4 percent. This means that salaries in Poland have grown in the last three years 15 times faster than the average in the European Union. However, as he said, we are still separated from the average earnings in the EU.
"In 2000, our earnings amounted to one-fifth of the earnings of a European, and in 2019 – one-third. The ratio of wages in Poland to the average in Germany increased from 16 to 26 percent. There is still a huge distance to be covered, even a long-standing one," he noted.
The company's calculations show that if the current wage dynamics continue in all countries in the future, we will catch up with the average EU earnings in July 2038. The first we will catch up with Portugal – in 5 years, and last Ireland in 39 years. We could catch up with Germany in 28 years. The positive information – as Wróblewski pointed out – is the fact that in last year's edition of the report, the equalization of wages with the EU average was supposed to take place only in 2069, and in the edition two years ago – in 2077.
Wróblewski made a reservation that these calculations were purely mathematical and should not be treated as forecasts.