2019.08.27 15:00

Average wage grows 13 percent in Lithuania

Wages in Lithuania grew 13 percent over the last year and have nearly caught up with those in Poland. Despite a GDP per capita equal to or above neighbouring countries', Lithuania have long lagged behind them in terms of wages, an economist says.

In the second quarter of this year, the average wage stood at €818 (€1,289 before tax), according to data released on Tuesday by Statistics Lithuania. Compared to the same period last year, wages grew nearly 17 percent in the public sector and 12 percent in the private sector.

Compared to the first quarter of 2019, private sector wages grew 1.6 percent, to €805 (€1,266 before tax), and 2.5 percent in the public sector, to €847 (€1,340 before tax).

The growth had to do with seasonality as well as increases in the minimum wage and government workers' pay, statisticians say.

“Economic boom coincided with various government reforms, so the growth [in wages] over the last year is pretty decent,” says Romas Lazutka, an economics professor at Vilnius University.

“We have to bear in mind, though, that we are merely catching up, since, for a long time, wages in Lithuania had been lower than in other countries of comparable development,” he adds.

Wages in Lithuania have caught up with those in Latvia, Lazutka says, but are still behind those in Estonia and are only now comparable to pay in Poland.

“Even though our GDP per capita is the same as in Estonia and higher than in Poland,” according to Lazutka.