While the reported average wage has risen briskly, it appears that wage income has actually been rising even faster. According to Rosstat’s labour survey, the number of people working in the grey economy increased by a few percent this year from 2017. Rosstat estimates that almost a fifth of the working population works exclusively within the grey economy.
The rise in average wages in the government budget sector subsided in the spring as the last of the long-term increases decreed by Putin had been implemented. In recent months, however, that rise has again accelerated. In January-August, the average wage in the healthcare and social services sector rose by 26 % y-o-y, and in the education sector by 16 %. According to the survey, the number of employees in these sectors did not decline this year.
In the corporate sector, wages have continued to rise nearly 10 % a year. Among sectors that are large by number of employees, wages in the trade sector rose by 7 % a year. Wages in manufacturing continue to rise as in previous years at 8−9 % a year. Real wages continue to rise much faster than productivity per worker. During the current decade, this has been the case especially in the past couple of years. On the other hand, the weakening of the ruble has increased the competitiveness of domestic producers.