We have the pleasure the present you an infographic accompanying the project on the impact of minimum wage on the economy of six Eastern European countries created by Visio Institute and supplements the previously published on our website policy paper titled “Minimum Wage: Busting the Myth”. Enjoy!
In 2014, the Czech economy did well. All reports have forecasted the same for 2015. The publication of the Czech Statistical Office dealing with the development of the Czech economy in the first quarter of 2015 confirms it. So how well did we do after all?
2014 passed under the sign of decreasing unemployment and increasing employment in Bulgaria. Although a big part of the population still hasn’t felt the benefits of these favourable tendencies, they are not only present in the leading economic centres, but also in some of the smaller regions of the country.
From 2012 to 2014 Lithuania increased its minimum monthly wage by almost one third (from 800 Litas in 2012 to 1,035 Litas in 2014). There are suggestions to increase the minimum wage in 2015 even more the supporters of the idea claim that companies would adapt. But is it all that simple? According to the survey conducted by LFMI, minimum wage increases come at a cost and they eventually bring several negative consequences.
The look back at 2014 will include mainly good news. While comparing to traditional benchmark – the average performance of the European Union – the Czech GDP growth rate was significantly higher than the growth rate of the EU. The Czech economy has had a faster growth than the EU in five quarters in a row.
Slovak Labour Code that requires separation of the meal contribution for an employee from the salary of the employee created an artificial meal voucher market and ensured the voucher companies millions in revenue and generous profit margins, which are, at the end of the day, paid by the majority of workers, employers and restaurateurs in Slovakia.
2014 was the most difficult year for Ukrainian economy in the 21st century. Ukraine faced economic crisis and military conflict in the East, while Russia annexed Crimea. Real GDP is estimated to decline by near 7% in 2014 due to a drop in domestic demand and weak external demand.
At European level, the NEETs are considered as one of the most problematic in the context of youth unemployment groups. For few years already, some analysts have started to talk about a “lost generation” sometimes referring as the NEET as a population of young people literally doing nothing.
Helping the poor to free themselves from poverty should not mean absolving the individual from all responsibility and nurturing a culture of victimhood, entitlement and dependency.
To answer the question of how the labour market will evolve we first need to understand where it came from and what purpose does it serve.