Higher wage bill. Romania’s wage growth rate maintains momentum on higher state employees’ earnings

Sorin Melenciuc 08/04/2019 | 11:52

Romania’s wage growth rate has slightly decelerated in February as the government increased the earnings of its employees since the beginning of this year, despite severe budgetary constraints.

Romania’s average net monthly earnings rose by 17.9 percent year-on-year in February – compared with 18.2 percent in January and 12.5 percent in December 2018 – up to RON 2,933 (EUR 617), National Institute of Statistics (INS) data showed on Monday.

The highest wage increases were concentrated in February in the public sector, while most of employees in the private sector have earned less during the first two months of this year compared with December – when many employers in Romania usually pay end-year bonuses.

The average net monthly earnings declined by 0.1 percent month-on-month, from RON 2,936 (EUR 618) in January.

Real wages increased by 13.6 percent between February 2018 and February 2019, due to high inflation rate (3.8 percent in February, year-on-year).

The gross average monthly earnings declined to RON 4,817 (EUR 1,014) in February, from RON 4,837 (EUR 1,018) in January.

The highest net monthly earnings were recorded in February in the IT sector (RON 6,683, EUR 1,407), and the lowest in textile industry (RON 1,728, EUR 364).

The government has increased the minimum gross wage in Romania from RON 1,900 to RON 2,080.

Romania has the second lowest average wage among the European Union member states, after Bulgaria.

The total amount of wages paid by the Romanian employers rose last year by 17 percent compared with 2017, up to EUR 80.3 billion, an all-time high, mainly due to minimum wage and public sector wages’ increases.

In 2017, the amount of wages was EUR 68.5 billion, and this means that the total wage bill rose by almost EUR 12 billion last year, according to BR calculations based on Eurostat data.

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