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Highs and lows of European salaries

 
 
 
 
 
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Last year, the smallest wages in Europe were paid in Ukraine, Moldova and Albania. The most highly paid professionals live in Switzerland, Denmark and Norway. However, the “low-income” Ukraine lives on labor migration. The Ukrainian citizens working in other countries, send billions of dollars to their home country every year.

In Ukraine, the State Statistics Committee reported a decline in average salaries during the recent two months. In August, an average salary lost 78 hryvnas (down to 3, 073 hryvnas), and in September – 9 more hryvnas were lost (down to 3, 064 hryvnas a month). The average Ukrainian salary is equivalent to 841 U.S. dollars in terms of its purchasing power.

In the ranking, which includes all countries of Europe, Ukraine in terms of the purchasing power parity (PPP) goes ahead of Moldova (461 dollar per employee) and Albania (796 dollars). Moldova and Albania traditionally appear in various rankings as the most low-income countries of Europe.

In Russia, the average salary makes up 805 dollars. In terms of the PPP, the figure looks more solid – 1,284 dollars per employee.

Switzerland is the leader when it comes to average salaries – 7,110 dollars. Denmark comes next with 6,628 dollars and then Norway – 6,429 dollars. The poorest countries among the rich ones are Italy and Malta (their average salary in terms of the PPP made up 2,826 and 2,591 dollars). The richest country among the poor ones is Slovenia (2,282 dollars).

CIS countries lag behind Western Europe on the level of salaries significantly. The average income in PPP terms in Luxembourg was 4,420 dollars, in the Netherlands – 4,321 dollars, in Germany – 4,271. However, Ukraine looks much better than a number of European countries in terms of the unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate, defined by the ILO methodology (International Labour Organization), reaches 7.9 percent. The smallest number of unemployed people is registered in Belarus, where local statistics recorded only 0.6 percent.

Extremely high levels of unemployment were observed in the republics of former Yugoslavia: Macedonia (31.4 percent), Bosnia and Herzegovina (27.6 percent) and Serbia (23 percent). However, the labor force costs a lot more in these countries than, for example, in Belarus or Ukraine.

Like in the countries of the CIS, the high level of labor migration is normal for Ukraine. Money transfers from Russia and the EU are an important way to maintain the solvency of those living in the country. They also make the population wealthier than the statistically determined salary level. During eight months of the current year, Ukrainian guest workers transferred $4.8 billion to their home country, which was nearly 5 percent more than during the same period last year.

German insurance company Allianz said in its latest report “Global Wealth 2012,” that Ukraine was taking the 49th place on the list of 52 countries in the ranking in terms of people’s incomes. According to the report, the Ukrainians are richer than the citizens of Indonesia (467 euros), Kazakhstan (539 euros) and India (643 euros). The list includes 52 countries of the world with the total volume of gross domestic product of 90 percent of the world GDP. In 2011, an average Ukrainian had 928 euros, excluding loan-servicing funds.

In Russia, the figure made up 1,550 euros. Switzerland is one of the most financially secure nations at this point too. The property of a Swiss citizen in the form of money and without consumer credits, was estimated at 138,000 euros last year. Japan came second with 93,000 euros, the United States was ranked third (90,400 euros), Belgium came fourth (68.5 million), the Netherlands came fifth (61,300 euros).

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