The unemployment rate fell to 3.2 percent in February, after two straight
months of incremental growth, according to Czech Labour Office. A year ago,
the unemployment rate stood at 3.7 percent.
Some 241,417 people were out of work in February, the lowest number for the month since 1997. The number of advertised vacancies increased to 333,111.
Citing seasonal factors, the head of the Labour Office said unemployment should continue to drop slightly in the coming months, with positions opening especially in the construction, gastronomy, agriculture, forestry and tourism sectors.
The lowest unemployment rate remains in Prague, where 1.9 percent of people were out of work. The highest is in the Moravian-Silesian region, at 4.8 percent.
The average gross monthly salary in Prague stood at 41,851 crowns in the
fourth quarter of 2018, up 6.5 percent year on year, data from the Czech
Statistical Office (ČSU) published on Friday show.
Prague salaries are the highest in the country on average. The lowest are in the Karlovy Vary region, at 29,703 crowns.
Nationwide, the average gross monthly salary stood at 33,840 crowns in the fourth quarter, up 6.9 percent in annual terms.
According to the ČSU, 846,700 people were employed in the Czech capital in the fourth quarter, up 3.2 percent year on year.
The average monthly wage in the Czech Republic grew by 6.9 percent in the
last quarter of 2018, according to figures released by the Czech Statistics
Office on Friday.
The average wage stood at CZK 33,840. In real terms, discounting inflation, the rise was 4.7 percent.
The median wage, a midway between the highest and the lowest levels, in the last quarter rose by 7.1 percent year-on-year to CZK 29,247.
The average monthly wage for the whole of 2018 rose by 8.1 percent to CZK 31,885.
Locomotive drivers in the Czech Republic are overworked and often find
themselves in crisis situations, Jaroslav Vondrovič, President of the
Czech Federation of Locomotive Drivers told journalists on Wednesday. He
says the great amount of overtime work and little rest is a big problem
that leads to locomotive drivers making mistakes.
His comments came as Czech Railways management convened a special meeting Wednesday in the wake of back-to-back train collisions and a steep rise in reported accidents and ‘incidents’. They will likely agree on stricter safety measures and tighter controls.
Currently, there is a shortage of at least 300 locomotive drivers in the Czech Republic. Inexperienced young drivers are often put into situations where they can make errors, railway authorities say.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš pledged in a speech before his ANO party’s
biannual congress on Sunday to abolish the “super gross” tax wage as
part of a wider tax reform effort that would reduce taxes on employees.
In effect since 2008, the super gross wage is the base for calculating the employee income tax. It is the sum of an employee’s gross wage plus social and health insurance premiums.
Mr Babiš, who founded ANO and is again running unopposed in the election for party chairman, said he also wants to revise social benefits policies to be more pro-family. He equated a decline in Czech birth rates with a high tax burden.
The Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs is considering more regulation
of agency employment. It also wants the Labour Office to have more powers
to combat the exploitation of foreign workers, Minister Jana Maláčová
told the Czech News Agency on Friday. She said these measures were part of
a larger set that will be included in an employment bill due to be
published in the second quarter of this year.
The minister also reacted to an investigative article published by German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, which reported on miserable conditions for migrant workers employed at a Czech company owned by Agrofert, a conglomerate founded by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. Ms. Maláčová said the article could act as an incentive for an investigation by labour inspectors. Mr. Babiš has said the Deutsche Welle story was ‘made up’.
While January’s unemployment rates were still the lowest since 1997, the
Labour Office reports that the number of people without work has increased
to 3.3 percent.
Analysts expected this increase due to seasonal factors. However, the numbers are higher by one decimal point than their projections indicated.
Economists do not expect another major decrease in unemployment like that seen in 2018. Furthermore, the growth in vacancies is also projected to go down this year.
Despite increases in the past two months, unemployment levels in 2019 are expected to continue being very low and to fall below 3.0 percent with the onset of spring. This trend is also expected to put further pressure on employers to increase wages.
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