Average wages in Hungary showed substantial increases in January compared to a year earlier, with net and gross earnings outpacing those of January 2016 by some 10 percent. According to the Central Statistical Office (KSH), January’s gross average wage was HUF 273,800 (USD 954) per month, while net wages grew to HUF 182,100 (USD 635) on average. Adjusted for inflation, Hungarians saw their real incomes rise by an average of approximately 7.5 percent on the year, the highest yearly gains since 2006.
Wages made greater gains in the public sector than in the private, jumping 12.2 and 9 percent respectively, but private sector net wages remained higher at HUF 190,000 compared to HUF 166,000 in the public sector. Those working in the non-profit sector earned a net average of HUF 157,000 per month in January.
The KSH data shows that workers in the financial and banking industries earn the most on average (HUF 525,000) while healthcare workers earn the least (HUF 171,900).
According to index.hu, the higher-than-average increases to wages can be largely attributed to Hungary’s labor shortage, and partly to increased performance of the Hungarian economy. (Sudden record-breaking expenditures in December of last year eliminated Hungary’s first budget surplus in decades, leading some critics to suspect that the spending was intended to stimulate a 2 percent growth in GDP and maintain the appearance of a growing economy, –ed.)
Since the second Orbán government took power in 2010, yearly wage increases have fluctuated between 2.4 and 5.8 percent per year. While this year’s increases easily outpace those of the administration’s earlier achievements, the growth falls short of major jumps in wages in the early 2000s, when earnings jumped by 16.3, 20.1 and 15.6 percent per year between 2001 and 2003.