In August 2023, the gross average monthly earnings for full-time employees were 555,900 forints, with net average earnings, accounting for all deductions, standing at 383,500 forints. Gross average earnings increased by 15.2 per cent, while net average earnings increased by 15.1 per cent, but real earnings decreased by 1.0 per cent compared to the same period one year ago, according to the Central Statistical Office (KSH).
The regular (excluding premiums, bonuses, and one-month special payments) gross average earnings in the same time period are estimated to be 528,500 forints, a 14.1 per cent increase from a year earlier. The regular gross average earnings in businesses were 531,100 forints, in the budget sector 518,300 forints, and in the nonprofit sector, 531,600 forints, showing increases of 14.0 per cent, 15.1 per cent, and 12.1 per cent, respectively over the course of a year.
Real earnings decreased by 1.0 per cent compared to the same period the previous year when factoring in a 16.4 per cent increase in consumer prices. The gross median earnings were 450,000 forints, surpassing the previous year by 15.6 per cent. The net median earnings, factoring in deductions, reached 312,300 forints, surpassing the previous year’s figure by 15.7 per cent.
From January to August, the gross average monthly earnings for full-time employees amounted to 556,900 forints.
Both the gross and net average earnings, with and without deductions, increased by 14.0 per cent compared to the same period in the previous year. The changes in average earnings were influenced by a service benefit payment, known as the ‘weapon money,’ paid to the professional staff of the defence forces and law enforcement in February 2022. Excluding the impact of this payment, both gross average earnings and net average earnings, considering deductions, would be 2.0 percentage points higher, according to KSH.
From January to August, the gross average monthly earnings for full-time employees in businesses with at least five employees, budgetary institutions, and significant nonprofit organizations amounted to 574,500 forints. The net average earnings reached 395,600 forints when considering all deductions.
Both gross and net average earnings, with and without deductions, increased by 14.1 per cent, while the net earnings considering deductions increased by 14.0 per cent
compared to the same period in the previous year.
Reacting to the data released by the KSH, State Secretary for Employment Policy Sándor Czomba said: ‘This means that, in comparison to the Gyurcsány era, workers now take home an average of nearly three times more in wages than before 2010’.
In his statement, the state secretary particularly highlighted that during this time, the minimum wage and the guaranteed minimum wage increased more than three-fold, all while one million more people were employed.
The state secretary also pointed out that it can be stated that, thanks to the government’s successful measures to reduce inflation, such as online price monitoring or mandatory pricing, the decrease in the purchasing power of salaries in August most likely stopped, as real wages decreased only minimally, by just one per cent. The data for September might indicate a turnaround in real wages. This could mark a return to the previously accustomed era of real wage growth.
Czomba added that based on ongoing negotiations between employers and employees, there could be a substantial increase in the purchasing power of salaries next year, as even the lowest wages could see noticeable increases. Growing real wages can boost consumption, contributing to economic recovery. The government’s goal remains unchanged: to protect families and jobs. In 2023, the focus is on reducing inflation, and 2024 is expected to be a year of growth, he concluded.
Sources: Hungarian Conservative/KSH/MTI