In the EU-27, 17% of full-time employees were low-wage earners in 2006. This category included 23% of female full-time employees, 28% of those with a low level of education, 31% of those having a fixed-term contract and 41% of those working in hotels and restaurants. The percentage of full-time employees who were low-wage earners was between 6% (Finland) and 31% (Latvia). This publication analyses in more detail the structure of low-wage employment in Europe. Also when looking at average gross earnings per hour wide variations around the average of 13.38 EUR per hour were reported in the EU in 2006. On average, hourly wages of persons with tertiary education were twice as high as those with lower education. Gross hourly earnings of women were 17.6% lower than for men in 2007 (this relative difference is known as the gender pay gap).
The largest differences in earnings between employees with low and high educational levels were recorded for Portugal, Slovenia and Slovakia (nearly three times greater for highly educated employees), whereas the smallest differences were observed in Denmark, Finland and Sweden (under 1.5 times more).