In July, employees in Serbia earned an average of €550, more than residents of Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia and Albania, and less than Croats, Slovenes, but also their Bulgarian and Romanian neighbours.
During the pandemic, Serbia overtook Bosnia, where the average salary is now 509 euros, and Montenegro, where the average salary in July was 530 euros.
“The minimum wage in Serbia today is 300 euros and in 2013, it was 159 euros. The average salary in Belgrade is 700 euros and in Serbia overall 560 euros. We are now first in the region,” Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic was quoted as saying.
Looking at the average salary, Serbia is far behind Slovenia, where the average salary stands at 1,250 euros, and Croatia with 939 euros. Serbia is also lagging behind sing Bulgaria and Romania, so Serbia remains is a leader only in the Western Balkans, the part of the region that has not yet joined the EU.
“A poor nation, but a regional leader,” says economist Sasa Djogovic, explaining that the fact that there the average wage in Serbia is the result of investments, especially in infrastructure, but also of foreign direct investments, as well as the increase in the minimum wage and the growth of wages in the public sector.
What Djogovic draws attention to is the median net salary, which was 49,990 dinars in July, meaning that half of the employees in Serbia have that salary, which highlights the unsatisfactory standard of living of the population.
“The lowest average salary in the public sector is about 59,000 dinars, and we are talking about local administration. It is evident that the private sector has lower net salaries and that the public sector pulls the main weight here. What needs to be done is to alleviate tax burdens on the private sector to create additional space for liquidity in business and thus increase net earnings,” Djogovic points out.
This post is also available in: Italiano