Press Release – Vienna, October 8, 2019

Kienbaum Vienna publishes the Salary Development Forecast 2020

  • The highest increases of nominal salary are expected in Finland with 4,8 percent
  • Outside of Europe an average salary increase of 4,7 percent is expected
  • Specialists & qualified workers will profit the most from the 2020 salary increases

Vienna, October 8, 2019

The salaries in Western Europe increase between 1,3 and 4,8 percent in 2020, according to the forecast. The highest increases of nominal salary are expected in Finland with 4,8 percent, followed by Germany and Austria with 3,6 and 3,3 percent. On the other hand, the expected increase in Switzerland is significantly lower at 1,3 percent. All in all, an average salary increase of 3,1 percent is expected for the chosen countries in Western Europe. The expected inflation rate for Western Europe in 2020 is fluctuating between 0,7 and 2,0 percent. Therefore, real wages will increase by 1,9 percent in Germany and by 1,3 percent in Austria. The real wage increase for Switzerland is predicted with only 0,6 percent. “The highest increases in real wages will occur in Finland with 3,1 percent”, determines Alfred Berger, head of Compensation & Pervormance Management at Kienbaum Vienna. These are the results of the Salary Development Forecast 2020. The data for this survey was collected through a joint survey conducted with our clients and displays results for 38 countries. Over 1,200 participants from companies of various sizes and sectors took part in this year‘s study.

The shortage of skilled workers strengthens employees in their salary negotiations

The predicted salary changes on the hierarchical levels differ significantly between the examined countries: It is expected that in Finland (6,7 percent), the Netherlands (4,5 percent) and Belgium (4,3 percent) specialists and qualified workers receive the highest salary increases. “In general our participants predict, that specialists and qualified workers will profit the most from the 2020 salary increases”, states Alferd Berger. „Thus, the shortage of skilled workers still is a relevant topic”. The highest salary increases at the middle management level are predicted in Finland with 4,7 percent. Board members and directors in the Netherlands and Luxemburg will obtain the highest salary increases with values between 5,4 and 4,1 percent. The lowest raise at the middle management level and the board members is predicted for Switzerland.

Salary increases are significantly higher in Eastern Europe compared to Western Europe

For 2020, an average salary increase of 4,7 percent is expected for the selected countries in Eastern Europe. That is significantly higher than in Western Europe. With 9,2 percent, nominal wages in Turkey are predicted to rise the most, followed by Hungary with 6,3 percent. In comparison, the predicted salary increases in Croatia, as well as in Bosnia and Herzegovina are clearly lower at 3,3 percent. The forecasted inflation rates for Eastern European countries range between 1,0 and 12,6 percent. “The predicted inflation rates change the ranking”, reports Alfred Berger. “The highest real wage increases in Eastern Europe were predicted for the Czech Republic with 2,8 percent.” Turkey shows a decrase of -3,4 percent due to the high inflation.

Salaries outside of Europe are rising the highest in China and India

Outside of Europe salaries are expected to rise in average by 4,7 percent. India has the highest average salary increase (6,4 percent) compared to all twelve selected countries. It is followed by China and Brasil with 5,8 and 5,4 percent expected salary increase. The highest inflation rates are predicted for South Africa at 4,9 percent and India at 4,2 percent. “Real wage increases are expected in all surveyed countries in 2020, except for South Africa”, summarizes Alfred Berger.
Board members and directors will receive the highest salary increases in India (7,2 percent). In Brazil, the top management functions will receive 8,3 percent salary increase, according to the Salary Development Forecast 2020. In general, top management functions as well as specialists and qualified workers seem to profit the most from the upcoming salary increases.

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For further information about the Kienbaum Salary Development Forecast 2020 please contact Mag. Alfred Berger (+43 1 533 51 88-21,


Oliver Stock – T.: +49 221 801 724 90 | E-Mail:

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