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Hungary’s gross wages drop 5.2l% yr/yr

Gross wages dropped 5.2l% in the twelve months to January 2009 and net wages were down 4.0l%, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) said on Thursday.

Regular gross wages were up, however, 5.1l% in twelve months. Real wages fell 6.9l% yr/yr in the first month, as twelve-month inflation was 3.1l% in January.

The drop in overall wages reflected changes in the way annual bonuses are paid in the public sector which pushed public sector wages down 23.7l% yr/yr. Excluding bonuses and other one-off payments, public sector regular gross wages were up 3.4l%.

Business sector gross wages rose 5.4l% yr/yr in January, of which regular wages were up 5.8l% from twelve months earlier.

Regular gross wages rose by the highest rate, 14.9l%, in the real-estate service sector, which includes home-trading enterprises, unchanged from December 2008. Regular wages in the scientific- and technical-consultant and advising sector showed a 10.2l% hike.

Electricity- and gas-supply services registered a similarly outstanding 9.2l% increase in regular gross wages after a twelve-month 11.4l% rise in December. Regular wages in the human-health sector, on the other hand, fell 1.7l% from a year earlier as opposed to the public-administration and defense or education sector, where wages were up 3.8l% and 4.3l%, respectively.

In January, the number of employees was down 2.5l% from a year earlier as the result of a 3.5% decrease in the business sector and 0.4l% drop in the public sector. The number of employees in the industrial sector contracted 6.1l% and fell 8.4l% in the building sector.

However, the number of employees in the information and communication services sector rose a surprising 12.9l% yr/yr in January. (MTI-Econews)