15.5% of employees in Malta are low wage earners

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In 2018, 15.3% of employees in the European Union (EU) were low-wage earners (this means that they earned two-thirds or less of their national median gross hourly earnings) compared to 16.4% in 2014. 18.2% of female employees were low-wage earners in 2018, compared with 12.5% of male employees. In 2014, 19.9% among female employees and 13.2% among males were low wage earners.

The amount in Malta is slightly above the EU average, at 15.5%.

Highest share of low-wage earners in Latvia, lowest in Sweden

The proportion of low wage earners varied significantly among Member States in 2018. The highest share was observed in Latvia (23.5%), followed by Lithuania (22.3%), Estonia (22.0%), Poland (21.9%) and Bulgaria (21.4%). In contrast, less than 10% of employees were low-wage earners in Sweden (3.6%), Portugal (4.0%), Finland (5.0%), Italy (8.5%), France (8.6%) and Denmark (8.7%).

The lower the level of a person’s education, the higher the likelihood of being a low-wage earner. More than a quarter (27.1%) of employees in the EU with a low education level were low-wage earners.

Fewer employees with a medium level of education were low-wage earners (18.0% of employees), while low-wage earners accounted for just 4.6% of employees with a high education level. For employees whose contract of employment was of limited duration, 28.1% were low-wage earners, compared with 12.8% of those with an indefinite contract.

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