Slovakia has seen wages rise across most sectors of the economy in the last year, new data from the statistics office shows.
Along with fellow Visegrad 4 states, Slovakia is already experiencing intense wage pressure including in its key auto manufacturing sector, leaving the likes of Jaguar Land Rover struggling to fill vacancies. This comes as unemployment falls to new lows across the region, sparking labour shortages in some areas.
The highest increase in the average nominal monthly wage was in the transportation and storage sector, where it soared by 8.1% to €905, the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic said.
This was followed by food and beverage service activities (up 7.4% to €433), retail trade (up 7.3% to €687) and the sale and repair of motor vehicles (up 6.6% to €975). Wage growth in the industrial sector was a slightly more modest at 5.9%, reaching €1,020 per month.
The only year-on-year decrease in wages was reported in the information and communication sector, where nominal monthly wages fell 4.2% to €1,652.
It was a similar picture for real wages, which were up in transportation and storage by 6.5%, food and beverage service activities by 5.9%, retail by 5.8% and industry by 4.3%. In information and communication they were again down, by 5.6%.
Reflecting the robust increase in wages, the government plans to hike the minimum wage from €2.50/hour to €2.76/hour, which would mean a monthly wage of €480. The measure is intended to bring more of the hardcore unemployed back into the workforce.
This comes as unemployment stands at just 6.54%, which has resulted in employers facing an increasing challenge to find the workers they need to expand their operations.
Statistics office data shows that employment, like wages, increased virtually across the entire economy.
As of August, the fastest increase compared to August 2016 was in the sale and repair of motor vehicles (up 8.4%), followed by food and beverage service activities (7.3%) and construction (3.7%). In industry, employment rose by 3.3%. The only decrease was reported in the “selected market services” category by 0.3%.