Working for Minimum Wage: Is There A Trick Behind It?

Some people work for minimum wage and get the rest of the money on the side, thus robbing themselves of their pensions. However, they do not consider what will happen in decades.

Bricklayers, drivers, and interpreters – essential jobs, yet companies offer them through the Labor Office for meager wages. How is it possible that they do not provide more in a tight market? Experts believe it is desperation or an attempt to save money.

The job market is tight, and companies are desperately looking for workers. According to the latest data from the Czech Labor Office in April, one job vacancy corresponded on average to 0.9 jobseekers. Companies were looking for 284,530 job vacancies, but only 261,683 job seekers were looking for work through the office.

We reviewed these offers, selected 30 of the most frequently offered ones for minimum wage, and supplemented them with others rated higher but very low in compulsory education or specialization.

We found that many of the most frequently offered positions – workers, warehouse workers, drivers, servers, cleaners, tattoo artists, dancers, trainers, and masseurs – are provided a minimum wage of CZK 17,300 per month. This salary increased by CZK 1,100 per month (from CZK 7.40 per hour to CZK 103.80) compared to last year.

Shadow economy

However, according to Jiří Halbrštát of the ManpowerGroup, which focuses mainly on finding workers for production and other essential professions, companies have almost no chance of finding someone for such wages.

“The amount of wages depends on several factors, but when we are looking for temporary workers for the simplest jobs today, such as selling at a stand or filling in at a restaurant, it is challenging to find someone for less than CZK 180 per hour,” says the recruitment manager. Such an hourly rate equates to a monthly income of CZK 30,240.

Although temporary workers hired by a company to cover higher demand can earn more than permanent employees for a short time, the basic salary of permanent employees is not usually much lower, according to Halbrštát.