Today salary in Azerbaijan specifies the level of living conditions though the incomes obtained from entrepreneur activities occupy the first place in the structure of money incomes.

This year they are forecasted to comprise 19.4trln manats, or 64% of all community incomes. However, absence of necessary data on this figure complicates the dynamic, its considerable part in under shadow, makes doubtful the verity in whole.

In difference to the first, the second for its sum stands for money incomes, wages differ for stability, though the head of the State Statistics Committee, Arif Veliyev, says registration of salaries remain to be one the major problems.

"We know that there are facilities where exact amount of wages of employees, however, it too difficult to attract them to registration, as there is not relevant methodic throughout the world,” Veliyev notes.

Thus, data on wage in the countries are based on official reports by the employees on salaries, where its lowest amount is indicated, whereas �black accountancy’ in most private and state companies.

Thus, as of last data provided by the State Statistics Committee, the amount of the average monthly salary in Azerbaijan in January to July made up 567,200 manats ($117.7 on average exchange rates in this period), which is 22.3% up as compared to January to July of 2004.

As of 2004, the level of average monthly salary made up 483,400 manats ($98,38), while in 2005 the government forecasts the average salary to comprise 594,800 manats ($122). Over 7 months of 2005 the average monthly exceeded the per capita incomes by 60,692% (2470,800 manats) a month.

In its monthly reports the State Statistics Committee indicates that high average monthly salary was fixed in the extractive industry, financial sector, leasing and commerce, and construction.

As of data for 5 months, average monthly salary of employees in oil sector exceeds the salaries of employees of other sectors of industrial complex of economy by 2.2 times. Average salary in this sector in January to May of 2005 made up 1.3m manats with a rise of 35% as compared to 2004.

For instance, from 1 April Salyan Oil company increased the salaries for its employees directly involved in Kursangi-Garabaghly field 40-45% in average. Thus, average salary now comprises 1m manats (some $200).

From 1 July the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) increased salaries by 20%. Additional 15bn manats was added to the age fund. At present average salary rate in the company is 1,172m manats. According to Natik Aliyev, the President of the SOCAR, the total age fund in 2005 comprises some 1.8 trln manats.

The highest average salary falls in metallurgy, cement production, production of transport equipment and oil refinery enterprises. Rise of average wage in January to May was fixed in energy gas and water supply and their distribution comprised 528,300 manats with a rise of 29.1% and 35,100 employees. Average salary in temporary jobs made up 1,008,000 manats with a rise of 10% as compared to 2004.

In particular, average monthly salary at Azernerji JSC is 750,000 manats. In may Azernerji increased monthly salaries by 33%. Barmek Azerbaijan said within 3 years the wages of employees of were increased 3 times and this year it is planned to raise it by 20-25%.

Meanwhile, Azerigas JSC plans to increase the salaries by 30-40%.

As to budget employees, the promised increase of 25% of the minimal salary from 1 July 2005 will not occur. It was clarified that 40%-rise in salary is expected from October 2005. Such step by the government will lead to increase of incomes of the budget employees through incomes.

The Finance Minister assures the wages should be reconsidered only in the context of increase of minimal salary and in equal proportion. The Azerbaijani Finance Ministry proposed to change the order of increase of budget employees.

"Today there is a problem in difference among categories of employees on equal tariff scheme. If the rates of the first category comprises 125,000 manats, for 19th category it is 1 million manats. The difference is quite big and bit it should be reduced, the Minister says.

So, the difference between the amounts of salaries in different countries is quite high. However, we have to state the fact that the wages in the capita; and in the region of one and the same country also differ considerably. It is not secret that the able people from all regions of Azerbaijan are attracted to the capital, where average monthly wages exceeds the figure fixed throughout the country.

The imbalance in wages is a result of a durable stagnation in the labor market of regions and consequent outflow of workforce to big cities. However, following a rise in production and social reforms in regions which started from last year, there evolved an acute deficit in qualified personnel of different level.

An only way of attraction of the workforce to province could be high salaries. Such approach, as you remember, was used by the Education Ministry, which increased wages and benefits for teaches in rural areas.

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