Many employees earn more than ministers

By the end of 2002 nearly 31 thousand employees in the Netherlands had an annual income exceeding 120 thousand euro, the salary ministers earn according to a special government committee. The number of employees whose annual income tops that of Dutch ministers more than doubled since 1995 when Dutch ministers earned 100 thousand euro.

Top incomes, 1995-2002

Top incomes, 1995-2002

Most top incomes in private sector

Nine in ten of the highest incomes are found in the private sector. The ten companies employing the most top income earners are all in this sector. The top ten mainly consists of large multinational companies quoted on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange. One in five top incomes in the private sector is earned in these ten multinational companies.

Many top incomes earned in commercial services

The sector commercial services employed 30 percent of the more than 27 thousand top earners in the private sector. More than 20 percent were employed by financial institutions. The trade and manufacturing sectors each accounted for about 15 percent of the highest incomes, while another 8 percent worked in transport and communication. Very few high incomes are earned in the sectors agriculture and fisheries and hotels and restaurants.

Distribution of top incomes, 2002

Distribution of top incomes, 2002

Fifteen hundred top incomes in public sector

By the end of 2002 fifteen hundred employees earned annual wages exceeding 120 thousand euro. Over three-quarters were employed by universities and university hospitals. More than two hundred national government civil servants also earned wages exceeding 120 thousand euro. The state subsidised sector employed nineteen hundred people earning top incomes, mainly in health care.

How high is high?

Top incomes averaged 170 thousand euro in 2002. With an average 173 thousand euro the highest incomes were found in the private sector. The highest incomes in the state subsidised sector averaged 153 thousand euro and in the public sector 140 thousand euro. Top incomes in the sector national government averaged 132 thousand euro, whereas in university hospitals and higher education top incomes averaged 142 thousand euro.

Job van der Zwan