Rise in collectively negotiated wages stable in third quarter

Collectively negotiated wages were 1.9 percent higher in the third quarter of 2006 than twelve months previously. The rise is similar to that in the second quarter, when it was 2.0 percent. The increase is clearly larger than last year.

Quarterly rise in collectively negotiated wages

Wage costs rise by less than wages

Contractual wage costs rose by 1.2 percent in the third quarter. The increase in wage costs has been just over 1 percent since the beginning of 2005, with the exception of the first quarter of 2006, when it reached its lowest point since 2001: 0.9 percent.

Collectively negotiated wages and contractual wage costs

Contractual wage costs rose by less than collectively agreed wages in the first three quarters of this year. In 2005 the increase in wage costs was still 0.5 of a percent point higher than the increase in wages. Lower employer premiums for disablement benefits and pensions have reduced the increase in wage costs.

Large rise in wages at energy companies

The increases in collectively agreed wages differ between sectors of industry. The energy and water companies sector had the largest rise, at 3.7 percent. Wage rises at financial institutions were also large at 3.3 percent.

Special allowances affect wage increase

In the sectors with the largest increases in particular, special allowances also increased strongly. This is the result of agreements in the collectively negotiated wage packages on employers’ contributions for the life course regulation and health care costs. Employers’ contributions to the life course scheme are often in compensation for a retrenchment of contributions to early retirement and pension schemes. 

Small wage increase in construction and care sectors

The smallest increases in the hourly wage rates were reported in the construction and the health care and welfare sectors, both 1.4 percent. The monthly wage in the construction sector was above average, however (2 percent). The difference is caused by a reduction of the number of days leave granted under shorter working hours schemes.

Collectively negotiated wage rise by sector of industry, third quarter 2006

Nathalie Peltzer