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Average Wage in 87% of Municipalities Fails to Reach Nat’l Average, GKI Says

Hungary Today 2022.05.03.

In 2020, the average net wage was only HUF 210,585 (EUR 551), about HUF 58,000 lower than reported by the Central Statistical Office (KSH), according to GKI Economic Research’s latest analysis that includes all working Hungarians. In addition, the local average was under the national average in 87% of the Hungarian municipalities.

As we reported, according to KSH, the average net wage was HUF 268,000 (EUR 701) in 2020.

In contrast to KSH, which only calculates the salaries of full-time employees of companies with at least five employees and of state and local government enterprises, the leftist economic think-tank, has used the Tax Authority’s data to calculate the average earnings of all working Hungarians.

According to their findings:

  • Hungary’s net average wage was only HUF 210,585 (EUR 551) in 2020, much lower than that of KSH
  • The local average in 87% of Hungarian municipalities fails to reach this average
  • In 43% of Hungarian municipalities, the average net salary was below HUF 160,000 (EUR 419) in 2020
  • The average net wage was even lower, below HUF 120,000 (EUR 314) in 12% of them
  • In contrast, only 4% of the municipalities booked a higher net average wage than HUF 240,000 (EUR 628)

Similar to another recent analysis, GKI also found large gaps across the country in this matter:

  • Budapest certainly pulls the average up with a net salary of HUF 276,000 (EUR 722)
  • Pest county with HUF 231,000 and Győr-Moson-Sopron county with HUF 225,000 are also above the national average
  • Nógrád (HUF 175,000/EUR 458), Békés (HUF 173,000) and Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg (HUF 163,000/EUR 426) are at the bottom of the list.

KSH recently reported that in February 2022, Hungarian gross monthly salaries increased by nearly a third compared to the same month of the previous year, something that astonished many since most Hungarians saw their wages increase by nowhere near that much. As a matter of fact, similar to this above-mentioned factor, a different way of calculation is behind the tendency. In this case, the contradiction mainly lies in the significant hike in the minimum wage and the recent one-off bonus for soldiers and police, which is the equivalent of their six-month salary. As a result, economic news site Portfolio’s estimates, the actual real gross wage increase adjusted for Hungary’s record high inflation, is closer to a much more modest 3-4%.

featured image illustration via Attila Balázs/MTI

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