“Poles currently have the highest salaries in Polish history. December's average wage reached almost 5k PLN. And that is not the end of it!" writes Bartosz Grejner, Conotoxia Analyst.
4973.73 PLN - this was the average wage in Poland in December, according to the Polish Central Statistical Office (GUS) data. It means a 7.3% increase in wages per year. More good news: the improving condition of the Polish economy and the labour market situation suggest that wages will continue to rise.
Economic situation is improving
For several months, wages grew by 6 to 7% in relation to the analogical period last year. Even though, the monthly GUS data show gross wage for companies employing over 9 people, and data is average, not a median (large cities like Warsaw overstate the average), the upward trend is observed on the whole labour market.
It is an effect of the improving Polish economic condition. Economic growth reached almost 5% at the end of last year. Although this was mainly driven by consumption, the risk of a significant decline in the economic growth rate is limited in the year to follow. In 2018, it is likely that a significant increase in investments will take place, which should further support GDP growth and have a positive impact on the labour market.
Pressure on the increase of wage growth is exerted by the labour market situation. A decrease in unemployment is being observed from month to month and combining it with an increasing number of jobs, it has become progressively problematic for employers to find qualified employees. This leads to higher salaries. The National Bank of Poland (NBP) estimates that over this and next year wages in Poland will increase by around 6.5%. However, this may be even better.
The Czech Republic and Hungary are a perfect example. The situation for employees is even better than in Poland. Wages are rising at a similarly high pace but with an even lower unemployment rate. According to Eurostat data, it is the lowest in the whole of the European Union and amounted to 2.5% in November (4.5% in Poland). Czechs can’t find suitable employees and for that reason tempt Poles by paying high wages and offering other benefits. According to the latest Eurostat data, wages in Hungary rose by 12.9% year-on-year, and November's unemployment was only 4%. It clearly shows that in the leading countries of our region, the employee situation is improving.
It will get even better!
Such a high wage growth pace in Poland would not have been possible without a clear improvement in the largest economies' situations. Published macroeconomic data does not indicate that this trend will reverse. On the contrary! Due to the improving situation in Poland and abroad, Poles will be witnesses of higher wages. Although December's data usually disrupt one time awards and bonuses, the average wage in enterprises may exceed 5k PLN.