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Hungary's gross wages drop 1.6% yr/yr in October

Gross wages in Hungary were down 1.6% in the twelve months to October after a 0.7% yr/yr rise in September. Net wages rose 1.4% in twelve months, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) reported.

January-October gross wages rose 0.9% yr/yr and net wages rose 1.8% in the period.

October gross wages rose 3.5% from a year earlier in the business sector, at a slower rate after a 4.3% twelve-month rise in September. Gross wages dropped 12.6% yr/yr in October in the public sector.

Ten-month average business sector gross wages rose 4.6% yr/yr and ten-month public sector wages fell 7.5%.

The fall in the public sector mostly reflected changes in the payment of annual bonuses.

Regular gross wages, or pay excluding bonuses and other one-off items, rose 2.2% from a year earlier in October, including a 3.9% yr/yr rise in the business sector -- the lowest yr/yr rise so far this year. Regular gross business sector wages increased at a slowing rate since June. The rise in business sector wages partly reflects a shift in the employment structure from blue-collar workers, affected more by layoffs, towards higher-paid white-collar jobs, KSH noted.

Regular wages in the public sector were down 1.7% yr/yr in October, dropping each month yr/yr since June.

In the firs ten months, regular gross wages rose 3.6% from a year earlier, rising 5.1% in the business sector and leveling out in the public sector.

Calculating with twelve-month inflation of 4.7% in October and 4.0% in the first nine months, real wages fell 3.2% in the year to October and fell 2.1% in the first ten months from a year earlier.

The number of employees was down 3% from a year earlier at 2.669m, as business sector employment fell 7.0% to 1.804 million and public sector employment rose (mainly on the effect of public employment schemes) by 6.3% to 770,000.

January-October employment was down 3.9% from a year earlier as business sector employment fell 6.8% and public sector employment rose 3.2% in the period.

Wage and employment figures are for businesses employing at least 5 people and for all public sector employees. (MTI-Econews)