What is the real average salary in Serbia?

The average net salary in Serbia in June this year was 49,238 dinars, says the State Statistical Office. However, the majority of workers in Serbia doubt the accuracy of this statistical information because they work for salaries much lower than that, so the question is what is the real average salary in our country.

Miroslav Velimirovic from the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises says that the average worker receives a salary much lower than the one cited by the State Statistical Office because it is the very high salaries that are upping the data about the average net salary. The real truth is that the average salary in Serbia is much closer to the minimum wage.

“The truth is that the average salary is closer to 22,000 or 23,000 dinars. Also, a number of people get half of their salary in cash. Furthermore, quite a few workers in Serbia are working for a minimum wage so the official data of the State Statistical Office is not accurate”, Velimirovic says, and adds that the Statistical Office has to present information that is better than reality because of certain political reasons.

Jelena Milakovic from the State Statistical Office says that assessing whether a salary is “low or high” is an entirely subjective matter, and that the average salary in Serbia is calculated by taking into account an arithmetic medium.

“Also, we have no way of ascertaining how many employees are paying parts of the salaries in cash because we are not labour inspectors and do not have such information”, Milakovic adds.

In reply to the accusations that the data about average salary in Serbia is fixed to suit certain political agenda, Milakovic says: “The data that we receive from our branches are contained in a document that is signed and stamped by persons responsible. The data can be corrected only if an error has been made with entry”.

A professor at the Faculty of Economy, Ljubodrag Savic says that most people in Serbia receive salary in the region from 30,000 to 35,000 dinars.

“The data about average salary does not reflect the realistic situation in the country. There are certain number of people who earn salaries much higher than the average and they mostly work in state-run companies and agencies, while, on the other side, the majority of people receive minimum wage paid in their bank accounts and the rest in cash on which employers don’t pay any taxes”, professor Savic adds.

(Nedeljnik, 23.08.2017)



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