In October 2018, the median hourly earnings were highest in Denmark whether the comparison was made in euros or in purchasing power standards (PPS). The median hourly earnings were lowest in Albania. Iceland had the third highest median hourly earnings in euros, but the eight highest when earnings were adjusted for cost of living by using PPS. Purchasing power standards is an artificial currency unit where theoretically one PPS can buy the same amount of goods and services in every country.
These results are from the European Structure of Earnings Survey (SES) that is conducted every four years, the last time in 2018 with October as reference month. The results and an article were published on Eurostat’s website on 14 December 2020.
Eurostat has also published statistics on low wage earners, which are defined as employees earning two thirds or less of the national median gross hourly earnings. Hence, the threshold determining low-wage earners is relative and specific to each participating state. The proportion of low wage earners was lowest in Sweden (3.6%) and highest in Latvia (23.5%). The proportion of low wage earners was 11.2% in Iceland, the eight lowest share, but the highest of the Nordic countries.
Data and further analysis is found on Eurostat’s webpage.