Levan Khabeishvili: “A total of 303 thousand people work for salaries up to EUR 300, more than 11 thousand of which earn less than GEL 100.”

Verdict: FactCheck concludes that Levan Khabeishvili’s statement is MOSTLY TRUE.

The Revenue Service data illustrates that a total of 12,480 workers received salaries up to GEL 100, 265 thousand workers acquired up to GEL 900 (EUR 300 converts to GEL 875) whereas 340 thousand workers earned up to EUR 300 (GEL 1,100) net salaries as of February 2024. Statistics vary from month to month; however, Levan Khabeishvili does not specify a time range. Furthermore, whilst the data that he presents do not exactly coincide with the February, January or December 2023 data, the figures are nearly identical and the slight inaccuracies do not affect the validity of the statement.

Neither the Revenue Service nor GeoStat collect hourly work data, making it impossible to determine whether the employee received their salary for full-time (40 hours per week, 173 hours per month), over-time, part-time or a single-time service work. Technically, even an individual employed for a single day or a few hours is recorded as a worker. Marginal or a symbolic wage can be described as a temporary employment in most cases.

Considering the technical accuracy of the presented numbers, accurately highlighted tendency, however, failure to specify certain details, potentially resulting in a misrepresentation of the reality, FactCheck concludes that Levan Khabeishvili’s statement is MOSTLY TRUE.


The leader of the United National Movement political party, Levan Khabeishvili, discussed salaries during his appearance on TV Pirveli show Politikuri Ambebi (Political Stories), stating (from 12:35): “A total of 11,748 individuals work for salaries up to GEL 100; 20,915 work for less than GEL 200, 29,272 work for up to GEL 500. We are talking about the 303 thousand people who work for monthly wages ranging from EUR 35 to EUR 300.”

GeoStat and the Revenue Service present the data regarding salaries with GeoStat publishing aggregated data for different types of employment, regions and gender whereas the Revenue Service’s website allows for access to information on the specific number of individuals receiving specific amounts of monthly salaries. The aforementioned data change month by month: 12,480 employees received salaries up to GEL 100 in February 2024, 26,167 – in January and 8,345 – in December 2023.

Notably, Levan Khabeishvili did not specify the time range or the type of wages to which he referred – gross or net. Furthermore, EUR 300 converts to GEL 875. The Revenue Service collects the statistics of gross wages; thus, net GEL 875 is gross GEL 1,120.

A range of 214 thousand to 319 thousand employees received gross salaries up to EUR 300 whereas a range of 270 thousand to 385 thousand employees earned net salaries up to EUR 300 considering the data for December 2023, January 2024 or February 2024.

Levan Khabeishvili’s primary aim was to highlight the assertion that a considerable number of employees earn extremely low or even measly salaries. The numbers that he presented almost coincide with the official data of the Revenue Service with certain slight differences still not affecting the validity of the statement.

Despite developing economies typically being characterised by lower wages, at a glance, it may seem paradoxical that an individual accepts an offer of employment earning GEL 1000 (or GEL 800 net) due to a severe budgetary crisis, even in light of the above trend.

The aforementioned low and symbolic compensations can be explained by two primary reasons: 1) some of the employed individuals are interns, thus only receive compensation for phone calls and transportation and 2) the employed individual is not working full-time. For instance, if an organisation hired a non-staff employee to fix a tap or a door handle for a few hours in January, transferring GEL 60, then the statistics will record that the person received GEL 60 as wages in January.

Although hourly compensation better represents the actual state of wages, neither GeoStat nor the Revenue Service publish such data.

A total of 957 thousand individuals received wage-type income in February with over a third of them (340 thousand individuals) receiving salaries ranging from GEL 1,200 to GEL 2,400 (GEL 940-1,880 net). Furthermore, up to GEL 1,000 was paid to 300 thousand workers and over GEL 9,600 was earned by 21,626 employees. The gross salaries of 88% of employees amount up to GEL 3,600, thus up to GEL 2,820 net salaries.

Graph 1: Gross Salaries and Respective Amounts of Employees

Source: Revenue Service

The average salary amounted to GEL 2,045 or GEL 1,600 net in the fourth quarter of 2023 according to GeoStat (the annual average has not yet been published as of March).

The National Statistics Office of Georgia will publish median wages later in October. With an average salary of GEL 1,543 in 2022, the median wage (the wage that the most employees receive on average) was less than the above figure by 32.6% at GEL 1,040 or GEL 815 net. Proportionally, the median gross salary will amount to GEL 1,380 or GEL 1,080 net in the fourth quarter of 2023.

GeoStat categorises wages for 19 distinct types of economic activities, ten of which had lower-than-average wages in the fourth quarter of 2023. Moreover, 11 of the 19 categories received wages lower than the average in 2022. Particularly, individuals employed in the sectors of education, medicine, agriculture, as well as the mining and quarrying earned less than the average.

The average salary in Georgia is indeed low; furthermore, a considerable number of employed individuals earn less than the average, thus contributing to a lower-than-average median salary. The net wages of more than 40% of individuals is less than GEL 1,000.

The hourly wages remain unknown as well whether an employee earns a fixed salary for working 173 hours per month (40 hours per week), overtime, part-time or engages in a single-service job as hourly work is not collected in Georgia, unlike monthly data.

Considering the technical accuracy of the presented numbers, accurately highlighting the tendency, but with a failure to specify certain details, potentially resulting in a misrepresentation of the reality, FactCheck concludes that Levan Khabeishvili’s statement is MOSTLY TRUE.