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Hungary's gross wages rise slows to 0.6% yr/yr in August

Gross wages rose 0.6% in the twelve months to August and net wages were up 3.2%, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) reported on Tuesday. Gross wage growth has been slowing now for the sixth month in a row. A rise in net wage growth to above that of gross wages evident since July reflects tax changes.

January-August gross wages rose 1.3% yr/yr and net wages rose 1.6%.

August gross wages rose 3.6% from a year earlier in the business sector and dropped 6.5% yr/yr in the public sector. Eight-month business-sector gross wages rose 4.8% yr/yr and eight-month public-sector wages fell 6.8%.

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

Calculating with twelve-month inflation of 5.0% in August and 3.8% in the first eight months, real wages fell 1.7% in the year to August and fell 2.1% in the first eight months from a year earlier.

Regular gross wages - excluding premia and one-off benefits - rose 2.8% in August from the same month a year earlier, continuing a slowdown started in March. January-August regular wages rose 3.9%.

Regular wages in the business sector rose 4.8% yr/yr, slightly more than their 4.7% rise in July, and they rose 5.3% yr/yr in the first eight months. Part of the increase reflects a shift towards better-paid white-collar employment in the sector as layoffs affected these employees less than blue-collar workers, KSH noted.

Regular gross wages in the public sector fell 1.4% in the twelve months to August, dropping for the third month in a row. January-August regular gross wages in the sector were up 0.4% from a year earlier.

The national average gross wage was HUF 190,388 a month in August. The average gross wage in August was HUF 193,003 in the business sector, including HUF 184,322 in regular wage, and the average for the public sector was HUF 186,538, of which regular pay was HUF 179,471.

Blue-collar gross wages in the business sector averaged HUF 132,028 in August, up 2.0% yr/yr, and they averaged HUF 115,076 in the public sector, down 5.9% yr/yr.

White-collar employees in the business sector earned gross HUF 290,006 a month in August, 0.9% more than a year earlier, and white-collar public sector employees earned gross HUF 214,369, 4.5% less than in August 2008.

The number of employees fell 4.1% to 2,653,400 in twelve months to August, dropping 8.3% to 1,795,000 in the business sector, but rising 6.6% in the public sector to 769,900 because of community work programs for people on welfare or unemployment benefit. (MTI-Econews)