With the new 2021 minimum wage in the amount of just over 32,000 dinars, Serbia still has a mediocre ranking among the countries of the region when it comes to the minimum wage.
According to the Nezavisnost trade union association, one in six employees in Serbia gets the minimum wage. Also, one in six workers gets 10% more than the minimum wage, while up to 60% of workers get below-average salary.
The Serbian government, although without an official mandate, decided on the new minimum wage but did not heed employers’ request of the raise to be up to 4%) or the trade unions’ request of a 12% (up to 15) rise, so it settled at a 6.6% rise. Despite the claims about unprecedented economic growth in the region, Serbia is still lagging behind at least when it comes to the minimum price of labour.
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Out of regional countries, Slovenia leads the way, of course, with a minimum wage of € 940.58. It seems strange that the average salary in Slovenia is only about 300 euro above the minimum, or just over a quarter, but it is logical considering that only 4% of employees in the country are on the minimum wage. In Slovenia, the minimum wage is regularly adjusted in line with the cost of living and GDP growth, just like in other regional countries with the exception of Montenegro.
In Croatia, the lowest guaranteed salary today is just over 400 euros. This year, less than 3% of employees receive the minimum wage of 3,250 kunas. The average salary, according to other economic indicators, is more than double and amounts to about 850 euros.
Montenegro has a higher average salary than in Serbia, around 520 euros, but the minimum wage is lower and has been around 220 euros since 2018.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the average and minimum wage are similar to that in Serbia, although each of the country’s entities independently determines the value of the minimum wage.
In North Macedonia, the average salary of around 420 euros, and the minimum wage stands at 234 euros. Here, the state officials are put on the minimum wage for two months in order to show solidarity with workers.
If we compare the workers with the lowest income, this year as well as last, out of 2.16 million employees in Serbia, 350,000 workers got the minimum wage, in Slovenia about 3.7% of the total of 885,700 and in Croatia only 2.25% of employees. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro have it worse than Serbia. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the total number of employees is 820,000 and almost one in three workers gets the minimum wage of just over 210 euros, just like in Montenegro (28%). In Macedonia, 220 euros is the guaranteed minimum salary for about 70,000 workers out of a total of 247,200 (28%).
This post is also available in: Italiano