Salaries in Bulgaria and Romania have registered the biggest increase in the European Union in 2008, showed data by Eurostat, the EU's statistical office.
Wage and other personnel costs per hour worked jumped by 17.9 in Bulgaria and by 21.5 per cent in Romania in the final quarter of 2008 compared to a year before.
At the same time, the two countries offer the lowest wages within the bloc, lagging several times behind other member states.
Bulgaria and Romania also continue to fall drastically behind with the EU’s average labour productivity, which is a main wage forming factor.
Eurostat figures revealed that Bulgaria accounts for only 36 per cent of the union’s average gross domestic product (GDP). The National Statistical Institute (NSI) said this week labour productivity rose only 3.4 per cent in 2008 compared to the previous year.
The cost of labour showed the slightest growth in Malta and France. The statistics revealed old member states raised wage costs by 3.9 per cent from October to December, which is less than for July to September.
Meanwhile, the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB) announced that the National Sports Academy pays the highest wages in the country’s higher education system of 1 347 leva. The medical universities in Sofia, Plovdiv and Pleven are at the other end of the scale with monthly salaries ranging from 709 to 750 leva. Wages at the Sofia University came out top in terms of highest rise last year with a jump of around 50 per cent, the union said.