Gross wage growth slows, regular wage rise picks up in January

Telco

Gross wages of full-time employees in Hungary rose 4.3% year-on-year in January, slowing from a 10.1% rise in December, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) said on Tuesday. The growth of regular wages, excluding one-off premiums and bonuses, accelerated, however, to 7.6% yr/yr from a December increase of 5.3%.

Net wages rose 1.4% yr/yr, far less than gross wages did. The gap as well as the sharp rise of regular wages could reflect tax changes.

Gross wages of those earning less than gross monthly HUF 216,806 had to be raised to prevent their net wages from dropping because of the elimination of employee tax write-offs and a one-percentage-point rise in the health insurance payroll tax from the start of 2012.

Hungarians' average gross monthly wage came to HUF 219,122, including a regular wage of HUF 209,703 in January. The net wage averaged HUF 141,594.

The average gross wage for full-time employees in the business sector climbed 5.2% in twelve months to HUF 224,994 in January. Excluding one-off premiums and bonuses, average business sector gross wages were up 9.6% at HUF 213,693.

Gross wage growth in the business sector slowed but the regular wage rise accelerated sharply both from December and from the 4.4% average rise last year. Headline gross wages in the sector rose 5.3% in 2011.

The average gross wage in the public sector was up 1.4% at HUF 206,846. Excluding those employed in public work schemes, the gross wages of full-time public sector employees rose 1.2% to HUF 207,855.

Regular public sector wages rose 2.1% to HUF 201,513, including those employed in public work schemes, and climbed 2.0% to HUF 202,482 without them.

Those employed full-time on public work programs in January received on average gross HUF 75,698 a month, 8.5% more than a year earlier. About 4,800 people, or a little less than 30% of those employed in such schemes, worked full time in January.

Net monthly wages rose 2% to HUF 145,133 in the business sector but fell 0.3% to HUF 134,236 in the public sector.

KSH said that 56% of full-time public sector employees were paid an average monthly HUF 10,300 and 6% of non-profit organization employees were paid an average HUF 10,500 a month to offset the adverse effect of the tax changes on their net income.

This wage compensation does not constitute a part of wages. Net wages also do not include family tax allowances.

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