The average gross hourly wage of skilled and semi-skilled manual workers was HUF 1,853 (EUR 4.87) in the second quarter, a 19 percent increase compared to HUF 1,553 (EUR 4.08) in the same period last year, according to Trenkwalder and Moore Hungary. Trenkwalder, specializing in temporary employment and recruitment, processed the wage data of almost 7,000 workers in its analysis.
According to the statistics, the average hourly wage in northern Hungary, considered to be one of the poorest regions, has already climbed above HUF 1,600 (EUR 4.21), while in other regions the average hourly wage is between HUF 1,700 (EUR 4.47) and HUF 1,900 (EUR 5). Central Hungary and the capital continue to stand out in this field, with average hourly wages approaching HUF 2,500 (EUR 6.58).
Viktor Hamrák, Trenkwalder’s service director, said that
the 19 percent average hourly wage increase indicates that real wages were still falling in the second quarter, with the Central Statistics Office still showing inflation slightly above 20 percent for the previous 12 months.
Although the statistics are likely to show falling real wages for the whole of 2023, he believes that the purchasing power of manual workers’ earnings should start to improve again from the third quarter.
Trenkwalder pointed out that,
while at the beginning of the year many companies were still trying to delay wage increases, almost all companies have now taken action to retain their workforce.
However, further steps are needed over the remainder of the year to gradually bring real wages back to previous levels, though many employers are already struggling to manage this wage increase, which is in the order of 25 percent per year.
At the same time, consultancy and audit firm Moore Hungary examined the pay data of nearly 500 middle managers working in the Hungarian subsidiaries of more than 60 international companies. For employees in the HUF 700,000 (EUR 1,845) to HUF 1 million (EUR 2,635) gross monthly salary range, the average wage increase in the second quarter of 2023 was 11 percent compared to the same period last year.
Péter Hajnal, managing partner of Moore Hungary, noted that
average wage growth among middle managers in intellectual jobs is still significantly below the rate of inflation.
In this group (especially where there are labor shortages), the number of those who have sought higher wage increases by changing jobs has increased over the period under review. This is reflected in the increase in the number of quits in the sample analyzed from two to five percent in one year.
Inflation has been very high in Hungary in the last few months. The government has tried to manage the situation by introducing food price caps and mandatory promotions, since food inflation is the main problem. According to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, the government aims to have a single-digit inflation percentage by the end of the year. It this proves to be true, it could help with the real wages as well, and wage increases could actually be meaningful in the future.
Via MTI, Featured photo via Pixabay