Growing Pressure on Automotive Industry Wage Growth in Central and Southern Europe

The automotive workforce in Central Europe is becoming more expensive. In comparison to last year's average values, the wages of automotive industry employees in Central Europe have grown in the first half of 2017. The most significant growth was recorded by the international Paylab salary portal in Hungary (+10%), Croatia (+6%) and Slovakia (+5%). In the first half of 2017, wages increased by 4% in the Czech Republic compared to last year's average values.

Wages have been growing the least in Slovenia and Serbia, with an increase of around 1%. This is suggested by the data gathered by, which operates the largest salary portals throughout Central, Eastern and Southern Europe using identical data collection methodology in all countries.

The Czech Republic and Slovakia are the two largest motor vehicle producers in the region, with an annual output exceeding one million in each country. Their neighbouring countries - Poland and Hungary - have roughly half that annual output.

In terms of wages, salaries in the CEE region are comparable and according to Paylab data the gross average monthly salary in the automotive industry ranges between €1,209 in Hungary, €1,218 in Slovakia and €1,293 in the Czech Republic. The highest personnel costs in the automotive industry are in Slovenia with an average monthly wage of €1,545. In other Balkan countries where mostly automotive suppliers are based, the average gross wage ranges between €1,013 in Croatia and €656 in Serbia. Paylab has automotive industry salary data for all position levels - from shop floor to management. Compare the salary for your position.

In Central Europe which, in recent years, has become an important motor vehicle manufacture player by attracting automotive manufacturers with its cheaper workforce, increasing pressure on wage growth is evident. Car production and automotive supplier production are significant economic growth drivers in these countries. Standards of living are growing, unemployment rates are decreasing every year, and the countries are slowly catching up with developed EU countries. Nevertheless, skilled workers in the region are still significantly cheaper than similarly qualified personnel in Western Europe. However, automotive employers are beginning to feel the lack of qualified personnel in the labour market, and employees at some production facilities are beginning to demand wage increases at the individual and trade union level.

The CEE region automotive sector is a key player both as employment provider and GDP generator, as most manufactured products are exported. In Central Europe, the following popular car models are being produced:

Automotive industry associations from Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland strive to cooperate in order to retain regional competitiveness for the automotive industry. Such associations have called on governments to reform education systems by focusing more on maths and science to better prepare workers for the automotive industry's future needs. Until then, greater support for the mobility of domestic and international workers could cover the shortfall in the labour market, the associations added at the international conference held in May 2017 in Bratislava (Reuters).


Daniela Beráková, Pribinova 25, 811 09 Bratislava, Slovakia

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About Paylab

Paylab is an international salary survey platform that collects information on the incomes and bonuses of employees for more than 500 job positions. Paylab uses a unique methodology for collecting data with a three-phase control and over eight years' experience. Visitors to the Paylab website or partner sites in their country can easily and anonymously complete an online questionnaire on their salary, and compare their income with the national average for that position. The system always uses current data for the last 12 months. For this Press release we have analysed data from Croatia:, Czech republic:, Hungary:, Serbia:, Slovakia: and Slovenia:

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