Crisis shaves off wages

Pressure to increase wages has been reduced in the aftermath of anti-pandemic measures

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: TASR)

This article was published in the Career & Employment Guide 2020, our special annual publication focused on the labour market, human resources and education.

While the labour force shortage drove the growth of wages in the Slovak economy even above labour productivity started growing in the last few years, the COVID-19 pandemic will rein in wage growth in the coming months. Experts estimate that remuneration may even decrease in Slovakia in 2020, and wage growth should resume along with economic growth and employment only in the coming years.

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The further development of wages will largely depend on whether there is a second wave of the pandemic and whether Slovakia utilises the coronavirus crisis to make the country more attractive for investors.

“[Wages] will be dampened by fewer hours worked, the absence of benefits paid out by companies and the high percentage of people who will receive sickness benefits due to closed schools and quarantine measures,” wrote the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS), the country’s central bank, in its updated outlook for the economic development of Slovakia from late April 2020. It also indicated that the economy may contract by as much as 10 percent in 2020.

The pandemic has not only reduced the demand for products manufactured by the open and export-oriented Slovak economy, which forced companies to send their employees home with reduced salaries, but forced many parents to stay home with their children following the closure of schools and kindergartens in mid-March.

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