Ukraine’s annual wage growth has been in double-digits for all but one month this year. This would normally be cause for celebration, but October’s massive year-on-year wage rise of 29% will feel more like a 17% decrease for most people, as rocketing inflation continues to make staple goods increasingly unaffordable.
Price increases are outpacing wage growth in Russia too, where double-digit consumer price rises show no meaningful signs of slowing any time soon. In sanctions-hit Russia, unlike Ukraine, wages are actually falling.
The measure of wage growth minus inflation is a crude way of looking at what is often recorded as real wage growth, but allows us to gauge how affordable or unaffordable it is to live and work in a given country.
The grim situations of Russia and Ukraine reflected in the bne:Chart could actually be worse still if median rather than average wage growth is used, as average wages are often unrepresentatively high due to high-earning outliers.