The average gross wage for full-time workers in Hungary rose by 10.2 percent year on year to 367,200 forints (EUR 1,155) in March, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Thursday.
Net wages grew at the same pace, reaching 244,200 forints.
Wage growth in Hungary has been in the double digits for a little more than two years, since the government, employers and unions agreed on a series of minimum wage increases paired with payroll tax cuts.
Calculating with twelve-month CPI of 3.7 percent in March, real wages were up by 6.3 percent.
Excluding the 96,500 Hungarians in fostered work programmes, the average gross wage rose by 9.1 percent to 377,100 forints, while net wages grew at the same rate to 250,800 forints.
Excluding fostered workers, the average gross wage in the business sector, including state-owned companies, rose by 11.6 percent to 384,800 forints. The average wage in the public sector increased by 2.5 percent to 362,300 forints.
Full-time fostered workers earned gross 83,100 forints in March, 0.1 percent 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.
In January-March, gross wages rose by an annual 11.0 percent to 352,100 forints and were up by 9.9 percent without fostered workers at 362,600 forints. Excluding fostered workers, business sector gross wages rose by 11.7 percent and public sector wages rose by 5.3 percent in the period.
Men employed full-time earned gross 385,100 forints on average during the period, while women earned 320,000 forints.
The finance 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 percent between 2010 and 2017, it said. Among the Visegrád 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 percent this year, with real wage growth of 6.6 percent.
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 percent this year, mainly due to the workforce shortage.