Despite GDP Growth, Salaries Lower than 8 Years Ago

Total Croatia News

Croatia’s GDP is growing at impressive rates, but employees do not yet feel the effects.

Although Croatia’s GDP is growing substantially faster than in recent years, Croatian employees still have lower wages than eight years ago, reports Večernji List on March 3, 2017.

The data on wages was a subject of research conducted by the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) “Benchmarking Working Europe 2017”. The results were announced today by the Federation of Independent Croatian Unions (SSSH).

The survey shows that workers in seven member states of the European Union still have lower salaries than at the beginning of the global economic crisis. “In the period from 2009 to 2016, real wages (adjusted for inflation) each year recorded an average decrease of 3.1 percent in Greece, 1 percent in Croatia, 0.9 percent in Hungary, 0.7 percent in Portugal, 0.6 percent in Cyprus, 0.4 percent in Great Britain, and 0.3 percent in Italy”, said SSSH in a statement.

“Newspaper headlines talk about record growth of GDP, growth of industrial production, exports, upgrades in credit rating outlook… However, there is no real economic growth without growth of employment and the number of good quality jobs. It is high time that this recovery is finally felt by Croatian citizens. Workers in Croatia must have higher salaries”, said SSSH president Mladen Novosel.

The survey also showed that wages in 18 EU countries grew much more slowly in the seven years after the onset of the crisis, than in the eight years before that, and real wages increased only in Germany, Poland and Bulgaria. “The study points out that the minimum wage remains too low in most countries and even workers with full-time jobs do not have a decent standard of living. Furthermore, deregulatory reforms of industrial relations systems, implemented in many countries, have created framework conditions that further complicate an upward convergence of wages and the realization of economic growth driven by wages”, announced SSSH.

“There are larger and larger differences between different groups of workers and between different countries: workers older than 65 are getting more involved in the labour market, which may reflect more sustainable working conditions or lack of income from pensions. Young people and those with low levels of education are still in a very difficult position in the labour market, and long-term unemployment among this group is still very high and growing. At the same time, there is an increasing share of workers who are trapped in jobs with atypical forms of employment contracts and low incomes, and are at risk of poverty even though they are employed. Generally, in the last nine years there has been an increase in the risk of poverty for employed people”, concluded SSSH in the statement.


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