This follows from a comparison of the annual wage in purchasing power parity in OECD countries for 2020 published in the OECD Employment Outlook 2021. In our opinion, Poland and Hungary overtake in the near future, not to mention the Czech Republic and Slovenia, where wages and salaries are prices from the former countries of socialism the highest.
Thus, if the calculated average wage in Slovakia was 23,619 US dollars (USD), in Hungary 25,409, in the Czech Republic 29,885, in Poland 32,527 and Slovenia up to 41,445 USD. We were also overtaken by residents of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, where the average wage is 30,000 million. The OECD average is $ 49,165. Thus, Slovakia does not reach even half of the average in this indicator. Czech employees can even afford more for their paychecks than residents of Portugal with an income of $ 28,410 or Greece (27,207).
At the same time, the unflattering position of Slovakia in absolute numbers does not mean that we earn so little. There are several reasons for the poor placement in the OECD rankings, such as commodity prices. Compared to post-socialist neighbors, we have higher food prices than Poland and many other goods. In the case of food, VAT is much higher. The reduced rate of this tax applies only to certain food commodities, while in other countries all or most of the food goods are. The average wage in purchasing power parity is the highest in the post-socialist EU countries in Poland, despite the fact that the local employees earn less in nominal terms than in the Czech Republic. These data also correspond to the analysis of the auditing and consulting firm Mazars, which shows that the average salary in the Czech Republic was CZK 34,932 in 2020, 33,987 in Poland and 28,420 in Slovakia.
Representatives of the business sector claim that our wages and salaries are so high that their impact on commodity prices hampers Slovakia’s competitiveness on foreign markets. At the same time, it depends primarily on the structure of production and the organization of work processes, from which labor and energy productivity derives. These views need to be subjected to a GDP comparison filter through purchasing power parity. Slovakia will achieve higher GDP per capita (EUR 34,300) measured in purchasing power parity than Greece (27,410) and Portugal (31,340). However, according to European Statistical Office sources, the average labor costs per hour worked in Slovakia are lower than in the above economies. Therefore, the arguments that our economy cannot afford higher wages because they do not match labor productivity are untrue.
The low valuation of the work is also reflected in the comparison of the net financial assets of Slovaks in comparison with other OECD countries, which is regularly published by Allianz (Allianz Global Wealth Report 2021). The report shows that while the average Slovak owns net financial assets of 7,531 euros, the average Czech 21,607 euros and the Poles 9,882 euros. The saddest is the comparison with the Czech Republic, where the average property per capita is three times larger than in our country.