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Higher minimum wage, public sector pay keep wage growth in double digits

The average gross wage in Hungary climbed by an annual 15.4 percent to 503,500 forints (EUR 1,216) in June, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Wednesday. The data for full-timers at businesses with at least five people on payroll show the average net wage rose at the same pace to 334,800 forints. The gross median wage increased by 15.1 percent to 403,000 forints.

Hungary’s statutory minimum wage was raised by over 19 percent from the start of the year, while the salaries of many people employed in the public sector were bumped up, putting wage growth in the double digits from January.

Real wage growth was 3.3 percent, calculating with June CPI of 11.7 percent.

Excluding the 75,100 Hungarians working full time in fostered work programmes – who earned on average gross 100,100 forints in June – the average gross monthly wage in Hungary was 514,300 forints.

The average gross wage in the business sector, which includes state-owned companies, rose by 14.8 percent to 512,500 forints, excluding fostered workers. The average gross wage in the public sector, excluding fostered workers, climbed 12.1 percent to 511,800 forints.

In the non-profit sector, the average gross wage, without fostered workers, increased by 30.8 percent to 543,700 forints, as a number of people working in education who were earlier counted in the public sector were reclassified.

A broader set of data covering all full-time employees, not only the ones at employers with a headcount of five or more, show the average gross wage was 488,700 forints and the average net wage 325,000 forints in June. The median gross wage reached 389,200 forints.

Excluding fostered workers, full-timers earned a gross monthly 498,400 forints and net 331,400 forints.

Hungarians employed in finance and insurance were the highest earners in June, getting an average gross 829,700 forints. People working in commercial accommodations and catering earned the least, 323,900 forints.

In the period January-June, men earned, on average, 21.6 percent more than women.

Andras Horvath, chief analyst at Magyar Bankholding, said wage growth beat expectations, adding that the trend was supported by employers’ efforts to attract and retain workers in a tight labour market, while keeping remuneration in line with rising prices. He put full-year wage growth over 16.5 percent.

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