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Salaries rose sharply over past decade, but so did earnings gaps

THE AVERAGE gross monthly salary in Slovakia rose by 96 percent between 1997 and 2006 up to Sk19,774 (€580) at the end of the period, the Slovakia's Statistics Office reported. The average net salaries increased by 99.6 percent to Sk15,466 (€450), Slovakia's Statistics Office chair Ľudmila Benkovičová said on May 31.

The statistics also revealed widening gaps between certain earning groups. While in 1997, women earned 21.5 percent less than men, this gap had risen to 26.9 percent by 2006. The average salary for women hovered just below Sk15,000 (€440) a month last year, but at least 50 percent were earning less than Sk13,716 (€400).

Salaries in the Bratislava Region averaged Sk26,910 (€790) a month in 2006, which was 36.1-percent higher than the national average. The Košice Region recorded slightly higher-than-average salaries, although half of the people in the region earned less than Sk15,575 (€455) a month. The lowest average salaries were paid in the Prešov Region - Sk16,253 (€475).

Meanwhile, the gap between job sectors with the highest and lowest salaries rose by 193.5 percent from a mere Sk8,000 (€230) a month in 1997 to Sk24,640 (€720) in 2006. The highest average salaries were paid in the financial sector - Sk38,409 (€1,120) a month, while the lowest were in hotels and restaurants - Sk13,769 (€400).

In terms of career levels, senior managers were earning Sk45,349 (€1,130) a month in 2006. Managers and skilled white-collar employees earned Sk25,415 (€740), while the lowest earners were auxiliary and unskilled employees at Sk10,947 (€320).

In terms of education, university-graduates employees were the best paid with an average of Sk32,079 (€940) a month, while those with doctorates averaged Sk34,923 (€1,020). The lowest-paid were those with only a primary-school education -Sk12,657 (€370), those who completed secondary school without a leaving exam - Sk15,016 (€440), and those with only vocational training - Sk15,503 (€450).

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