The weight of salaries has dropped by 2000 million over the past decade in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country

Dec 18, 2018
When analysing the distribution of revenue, we have several indexes, indicators, ratios, etc. to use. In this case, the tool that we will use will be that of analysing the evolution of the weight of work revenue and of capital with respect to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP); to do this, we will use the statistics provided by Estate. In spite of having only partial information, it will show how the capitalist accumulation increases the differences between the revenues. ELA has indicated that if the salaries had been maintained in 2017, the weight that they had on the Gross Domestic Product of 2009, would increase by 2,000 million in the ACBC.

Work revenue in the ACBC in 2017 came to 34,986.7 million Euros. In spite of the fact that this figure means a 3.5% rise compared to 2016, the weight of the salaries in the economy as a whole dropped to 47.39% of the GDP, the lowest figure in recent years. After the start of the crisis, in 2009, the part of the revenue that was destined to work revenue reached a figure of 50.29%, but from this year onwards, it has continued to drop until reaching the 2017 levels.

This trend is not a phenomenon that should only be attributed to the last crisis, but rather it is the actual dynamics of capitalism itself, although it is true that with the crisis this has become more acute. Since 1985 the weight of payments has continued to drop. During this year, the weight of work revenue reached 55.5% of the GDP, significantly higher than the figure reached in 2017.

The gross surplus or the capital gains (the sum of the surplus of net exploitation and fixed capital consumption) in 2017 were 4.03% higher than in the previous year, more than half a point above the rise of the salary part. Between 2009 and 2017, capital gains grew by 18.18%, meaning a growth of 4,794.3 million Euros. The percentage of the GDP, unlike salaries, increased by 1.73 points, going from 40.48% to 42.21%.

In short, in 2009 the part of salaries corresponding to revenue was almost 10 points higher than the part that corresponded to the capital gains. Eight years later, the difference has dropped until almost reaching 5%.


As ELA has reported, the policies that are applied in the different areas (budget, tax, labour reforms or collective bargaining, etc.), framed in the capitalistic dynamic and its accumulation phase cause an increasingly unfair distribution of the revenue and an increase in inequality.

The downward trend of the profit rate reached its limits in the 1980s; therefore it brought an end to the Keynesian phase and the start up of the Neoliberal phase. This new phase increased the differences between the revenues even more, although the 2008 crisis was used to give a new turn of the screw, helping this increase to become even greater.

The data presented in this article shows the important drop in the weight of work revenue on the GDP and the increase in the weight of capital gains. In the working part, the result is a consequence of the loss of spending power, of the curtailing of rights and working conditions and the drop in employment. In short, the profits of a minority at the expense of the working classes.