Armenia: gross salaries up $20 mln in July despite crisis
The Armenian authorities are publishing figures on the success of anti-crisis programmes to deal with the economic consequences of the coronavirus.
One particularly notable data point was that the total amount paid in salaries was up $20 million in July year-on-year, despite the fact that during the state of emergency from March to May, almost all enterprises in the country were stopped.
After the introduction of the state of emergency in the country, the government developed 24 anti-crisis programmes, involving social assistance to the population and economic measures to promote business.
They paid particular attention to stimulating employment and providing assistance to organizations that did not lay off their employees.
The US State Department, considering the steps taken by the Armenian government to overcome the crisis, is providing additional assistance to restore tourism and agriculture, as well as to assist migrants.
Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan published the statistics on the increase of wages on his Facebook page, according to which salaries:
– in July 2020 amounted to 127 billion drams ($264 million)
– in June 2020 amounted to 120 billion drams ($250 million)
– in July 2019 ammounted to 117 billion drams ($244 million).
Pashinyan says the figures are presented on the basis of the reports of organisations themselves – on the amounts that were paid to employees and from which income tax was deducted.
The prime minister believes that the increase in the wage fund is the result of anti-crisis measures developed by the government aimed at preserving jobs and preventing a fall in wages.
Moreover, according to Pashinyan’s post,
– in July 2019, gross wages were distributed among 606,465 employees,
– in July 2020 – among 613,062.
That is, the number of jobs increased by 6,597 year-on-year.
Experts say it is difficult to say how much of this reflects added jobs, as some of the activity may relate to jobs and salaries being brought ‘out of the shadows’ – that is, that organizations registered their existing employees.
On help from the US State Department
The United States is providing the Armenian government with $1.43 million in additional assistance for programmes to deal with the consequences of the coronavirus.
A million dollars will be directed to the restoration of agriculture and tourism in the country. The rest of the amount is provided to help migrants who are in Armenia and cannot return to their countries of permanent residence due to the coronavirus pandemic.