The FINANCIAL -- The average monthly nominal salary in Georgia amounted to 690.7 GEL in
2011 according to the National Statistics Office of Georgia.
The highest average salary of all working sectors was recorded in the financial sector. Employees of this sector get an average salary of 1,382.6 GEL per month. The sector has for the last several years been the one offering those that work in it the highest salaries.
The average monthly salary in 2010 was 597.6 GEL which is 93.1 GEL less than that of 2011. The average salary amount has experienced quite an increase since 2007 when it was at just 368.1 GEL.
“It is important to take into consideration the rate of inflation when looking at increases in average salaries of the last five years,” Giorgi Kelbakiani, Researcher, ISET Policy Institute, told The FINANCIAL. “In reality the average salary experienced a decrease of 4.75 percent in 2009 and 2010. The biggest real increase was detected in 2007 and 2008 (39.96 percent). But it is very important that overall the average salary has been gradually increasing.”
The high salary amount of those working in the financial sector is due to competition between institutions in that sphere, experts say. Banks have to pay a high salary to keep their employees and not lose them to other banks. This sector belongs entirely to the private sector which means there are no state salaries at all which could reduce the mean salary amount of the sector.
“Everywhere in general, in many countries, the average salary of the private sector is higher than that of the state sector except for in higher state departments,” he said. “Certainly in private sectors, the one which is the most developed is the one with the highest salaries. The financial sector is the most developed in Georgia and therefore has the highest average salary.”
Employees of the education sector have the lowest salaries in Georgia. Their average monthly salary amounts to just 330.8 GEL; it was 153 GEL in 2007. Despite the fact that in 2011 this sector had the lowest average salary, it has experienced one of the biggest increases of the last five years; the average salary has increased by 220 percent compared to 2007.
As for the education sector, there are comparatively higher salaries at private schools, kindergartens and universities. But the high share of state institutions in this sector is what causes a reduction of the average monthly salary amount.
“The education sector still remains one of the main state sectors, as there are few private schools and kindergartens throughout the country,” Kelbakiani explains. “The state defines the salaries of the different sectors by taking into consideration how important the sector is to the government. The more prioritized the sector, the higher the salaries are that are being paid to employees of that sector from the state budget. About 7-8 percent of the budget has been getting spent on education in the last several years, which is quite a low amount.”
Apart from the education sector there are three more sectors that have an average salary less than 500 GEL. These sectors are: agriculture, hunting and forestry with 371.8 GEL; fishing with 398.1 GEL; and hotels and restaurants with 499 GEL.
State governing (1000.7 GEL); transportation and communication (866.9 GEL); the mining industry (897.3 GEL); electricity, gas and water supply (888.9 GEL) are the sectors which also have high salaries.
The healthcare and social protection sector experienced the highest increase of salaries during the last five years. Whereas the average monthly salary of employees of this sector was 206.4 GEL in 2007, it now comes to 516.1 GEL, which is a 250 percent rise. All sectors have had salary increases of more than 100 percent in the last five years. The sectors which experienced increases of more than 200 percent are agriculture, hunting and forestry with a 200 percent rise compared to 2007; fishing with 230 percent; hotels and restaurants with 209 percent; real estate with 203 percent; education with 216 percent; and utility, social and personal service with 221 percent.
“The state spends less on the healthcare sector than the education sector, but the big increase of salaries there is due to the fact that this sector is becoming more and more privatized. Accordingly salaries are getting closer to the salaries of the private sectors,” Kelbakiani said.
In total the working force in Georgia includes 1,959.3 thousand individuals as of 2011. This number has been decreasing since 2005; it used to be 2,023.9 thousand individuals in 2005. The number of employed people is decreasing as well. It amounts to 1,664.2 thousand individuals as of 2011 compared to the 1,744.6 thousand it was in 2005.
The biggest share of employed people are working in the agriculture sector. Their total number amounts to 849.8 thousand individuals, while there are 672.6 thousand individuals employed in the service sector and 105.7 thousand in manufacturing.
The unemployment rate is almost twice higher in the cities compared to in the villages. The reason for this is that owners of even small plots of land in the countryside are considered ‘employed’ and this is what results in such data.
The rate of unemployment is 15.1 percent as of 2011 which is 295.1 thousand individuals. It was 279.3 thousand individuals (13.8 percent) in 2005.
“The reduction of the employment rate directly means reduction of working places,” said the researcher. “This has two causing factors: state bureaucratic apparatus has shrunk, abolished ineffective working places, while at the same time the number of new working places is too few. At the same time small business, which creates the most working places in general, is developing badly in Georgia.”
The self-employment rate in Georgia is very high. According to the National Statistics Office of Georgia it makes up over 60 percent of the whole number of employed people as of the first half of 2012.