The average gross wage for full-time workers in Hungary rose by 10.2% year on year to 367,200 forints (EUR 1,155) in March, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said. Net wages grew at the same pace, reaching 244,200 forints. Calculating with twelve-month CPI of 3.7% in March, real wages were up by 6.3%.
Excluding the 96,500 Hungarians in fostered work programmes, the average gross wage rose by 9.1% to 377,100 forints, while net wages grew at the same rate to 250,800 forints. Full-time fostered workers earned gross 83,100 forints in March, 0.1% more than a year earlier.
KSH noted changes to its data sourcing first appearing in January statistics: it is phasing out its practice of monthly data collection and instead getting data on wages and headcount from the National Tax and Customs Authority (NAV) and, in the case of the public sector, from the State Treasury. While reducing the data provision burden, the new sources bring a richer set of data, KSH said.
The data sources show the average gross monthly wage was highest in information technology and communication, at 671,200 forints, and lowest in the hotel and catering services sector, at 235,300 forints. Men employed full-time earned gross 385,100 forints on average during the period, while women earned 320,000 forints.
The financial ministry said in a statement that wages have been growing for 75 consecutive months in Hungary. Including family tax cuts, wage growth has exceeded 47% between 2010 and 2017, it said. Among the Visegrad countries, Hungarian gross wages grew the fastest, the ministry said.
Analyst András Horváth of Takarékbank told MTI that wage growth in March was driven by the increasing shortage of qualified workforce and the minimum wage increases. Horváth forecast full-year wage growth exceeding 10% this year, with real wage growth of 6.6%. Péter Virovácz of ING Bank noted that wages continue to rise at above average rates in manufacturing, construction and information technology and communication whereas wage growth in the public sector has been the lowest since 2015, mainly due to the winding up of wage rises at the law enforcement bodies. ING Bank’s analysts also predicted full-year wage growth of around 10% this year, mainly due to the workforce shortage.