The average wage in the Czech Republic went up by 7.6% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2007 to 21,470 CZK (nearly 1,200 USD). This means that, on average, Czechs are earning over 1,500 crowns more than at they were at this time last year. Wages rose in the private sector by 7.6%, while this rise in the public sector was closer to 7.5%. Those enjoying the biggest pay rises, according to the Czech Statistical Office, were mechanics, waiters and gamekeepers. The lowest growth in wage was recorded in the fishing industry, with employees only earning 2.1% more now than they did at this time last year.
The Czech Republic has managed to use up all of the money allocated by the European Union EQUAL programme promoting equal opportunities and employment of disadvantaged people, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Petr Necas said at a news conference on Monday. Altogether, the Czech Republic received more than 430 million crowns, or 24 million US dollars, from the European Social Fund. Mr Necas added that unemployment in the Czech Republic stood at 5.8 % in October, the lowest figure over the past nine months.
Teachers have threatened to go on strike on December 4th if the government fails to increase the education sector’s expenditures for 2008. The proposed budget reckons with a 1,5 percent increase in teachers’ salaries which will barely cover inflation. Trade unions say that more money is needed for teaching aids, sports facilities and maintenance.
Monday’s edition of Lidove noviny reported that, according to experts, the average wage after tax in the Czech Republic will go up by around 3% in 2008. The predicted rise has been attributed to the low rate of unemployment in the country, and the large number of jobs that remain unfilled. Employees working in the information technology sector can expect the highest pay-rise, while the wages of those in the car-manufacturing industry are also expected to go up. The research was conducted by the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions, who also predicted that living expenses would go up by around 5% next year, due to a package of reforms passed by the government in August. The current average wage in the Czech Republic is around 21,000 CZK (1,000 USD) a month.
In Business News this week: Inflation is at a five-year high, with growth driven by food price increases; unemployment, meanwhile, is at a nine-year low of 5.8 percent; the cabinet is to discuss the Czech Republic's relatively low investment in science; the Czech Republic is becoming less competitive, says the EC, echoing a recent OECD report; and the first step is taken towards privatising Prague Airport.
The unemployment rate has reached its lowest level in nine years. According to data released by the Labour Ministry, 5.8 percent of Czechs were out of work in October. There were 350,000 jobless last month, almost 90,000 fewer than the same month in 2006. On average there are 2.4 applicants for every vacancy. Analysts attribute the positive development to an increasing number of new jobs. On the other hand, Czech companies are facing shortage of employees.
Unemployment amongst Czech school leavers has reached a ten-year low, reported the Czech National Institute of Technical and Vocational Education on Thursday. In September, just under 32,000 school leavers were registered as unemployed in the Czech Republic, which is down 10,000 on last year's figures. In total, school leavers make up 8.6% of the country's unemployed. The drop in unemployment among school leavers has been attributed to the increased number of secondary school students going on to university, and the current strength of the Czech economy.
While the Czech economy is booming, many employers are complaining they just cannot find workers. Some large companies are increasingly turning to foreign workers, though that process is often held back by lengthy and complicated bureaucratic procedures. But now things are set to become easier - the Czech government has this week announced plans for a new "green card" system.
According to the predictions of the Czech Finance Ministry, civil servants can expect a pay-rise of around 5% next year. This would bring their average wage up to around 27,000 CZK (13,500 USD) a month. In a draft of next year's budget, the government has allocated some 130 billion CZK to the payment of its public administrators. This figure is 4 billion CZK up on last year's amount. According to predictions, policemen, soldiers and customs officials can also look forward to a pay-rise. Their average salary looks set to go up by around 3%. And the Ministry of Finance predicts that those working in the private sector will not be left behind - their average wage is expected to rise to around 23,500 CZK a month.
In business news this week: Labour Minister Petr Necas promises to reform the "demotivating" unemployment benefit system; a new report shows a sharp increase in the number of foreign-registered Czech companies; figures show the Czech antique market booming; the jewellery business records rising fortunes for gold after years of decline; and Czech insurers join forces against drivers with accident records.
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