Top earners’ wages ‘grow fastest’

Swedish trade group LO says that wages for the best paid in Sweden grew three times faster than for blue-collar jobs during the past 20 years.

Compared to an industrial job earning 250,000 kronor per year, elite managers made nearly 3 million kronor in 2004, an amount 12 times higher, the group said in a release on Friday.

Lars Jilmstad, spokesman for the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, said the business world has changed in the past 50 years, and that to hold on to top people, companies often find it worth offering large salaries.

“The owners of the companies should look after what is best for their companies,” Jilmstad said. “This could very well mean paying a lot for top management.”

He said LO could be trying to sway the public in preparation for union salary talks later this year.

The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise is made up of some 50 members and nearly 55,000 member companies.

LO did not respond to phone calls on Friday.