The earnings of employees in Giurgiu county (Southern Wallachia) rose by 27.8 percent between May 2017 and May 2018, the highest pace in Romania, followed by those in other two southern counties (Teleorman and Ialomita), but the highest wages are in Bucharest and three counties (Cluj, Ilfov and Timis), regional statistics of the National institute of Statistics (INS) show.
The highest wage growth rates over the last 12 months were recorded Giurgiu, Teleorman (+26.6 percent), Ialomita (+24.6 percent), Salaj (23.3 percent) and Dambovita (+22.4 percent), according to Business Review’s calculations.
On the other hand, the lowest growth rates for earnings were registered, during the same period, in Arges (+5.6 percent), Constanta (+8.3 percent), and Botosani (+8.4 percent).
The highest net monthly earnings of employees were recorded in May 2018 in Bucharest (RON 3,448, EUR 743), Cluj (RON 3,094, EUR 667), Ilfov (RON 2,910, EUR 627), and Timis (RON 2,886, EUR 622), all the other counties in Romania posting average net earnings below EUR 600.
The official numbers show that high wages are concentrated in only five areas of Romania: the Capital city and its surroundings (Bucharest-Ilfov), the three major regional centers from Transylvania, Banat and Moldova provinces (Cluj, Timisoara and Iasi) and Southern Transylvania (the highly urbanized and industrialized counties of Sibiu and Brasov).
At the opposite end of the scale, in 20 out of the 42 counties of Romania (including Bucharest), net monthly average earnings are still below EUR 500.
The lowest wages in Romania are in Neamt (EUR 450 in May), Botosani (EUR 451), and Bistrita-Nasaud (EUR 454).
In May, the inflation rate rose to 5.4 percent year-on-year, generating a stagnation of purchasing power for employees in Arges.
At the national level, the average net monthly earnings in Romania grew by 14.4 percent year-on-year in May, to RON 2,704 (EUR 534), National Institute of Statistics (INS) data showed.
But real wages increased by only 8.5 percent during the same period, due to high inflation rate.
But more than 44 percent of the Romania’s employees received the national minimum wage in March, compared with 37 percent in 2017, according to official data obtained by Business Review.
Unions say this evolution is a consequence of government’s lack of interest for an equitable distribution of benefits of economic growth.
In May, the highest net monthly earnings were recorded in IT sector (RON 6,437, EUR 1,388) and the lowest in accommodation and food service activities (RON 1,554, EUR 335).
Romania has the second lowest average wage among the European Union member states, after Bulgaria.