Almost a quarter million jobs open

Wages for unskilled jobs are being forced to increase

Some 230,000 jobs are available in the Czech Republic, according to Labor Offices statistics. The greatest need is for people with lower qualifications, especially for laborers and auxiliary professions. Companies in these professions offer a gross starting wage of under Kč 20,000, and sometimes under Kč 15,000. The lowest level wages are expected to grow at a rapid rate to fill the positions, according to analysts.

The need is greatest for assembly workers, where over 24,000 jobs are available. Companies in these positions offer an average wage of Kč 16,400. In the case of auxiliary or cleaning services, they offer less than 15,000, according to an analysis by the ČSOB and Patria Finance based on Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs data.

Drivers have been in demand for trucks, buses, and trams. The Prague Public Transit Company (DPP) has had to raise wages to attract new drivers and now offers Kč 35,000 gross, an increase of 20 percent over the past five years.

Jan Bureš, chief economist at Patria Finance told news server Novinky.cz that wage growth in the past year was likely to exceed 7 percent, and in some cases was even more. A supermarket chain increased wages 20 percent, for example, to reach Kč 20,000. Inflation last year exceeded 2 percent.

“Looking at the labor offices, it is clear that we have never had so many vacant places in history. Companies at this time cannot find over 230,000 workers, especially with lower qualifications,” Bureš said.

“We expect relatively strong wage pressure this year, which will gradually push the Czech National Bank to further raise interest rates,” Bureš said.

Unemployment in the Czech Republic is under 4 percent, meaning the economy is close to full employment. Some regions have more people are more out of work, and companies may have to try to induce people to travel or move to work. Prague has 2.3 percent unemployment, while the Moravia-Silesia region has 5.9 percent.

Part of the population does not show up in unemployment statistics because they do not register at the Labor Offices. Either they do not believe they could get a job or do not want to make a low wage.

The gross average wage in the Czech Republic in the third quarter of 2017 was Kč 29,050 gross, but roughly two-thirds of people do not reach the average. The high salary of top managers, for example, is higher, and that distorts the average. In Prague, the average gross monthly wage was Kč 36,312. It was lowest in Central Moravia, at Kč 26,006.


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