Collectively negotiated wage rates were 3.4 percent higher in the second quarter of 2008 than twelve months previously. This increase is substantially larger than in the first quarter, when wages were 2.8 percent higher. As a result, after its lowest point in 2005, the wage increase is back at its 2003 level.
Increase in collectively negotiated wage rates
Wages grow fastest in construction
The pickup in the growth of collectively negotiated wage rates in the second quarter of 2008 is mainly the result of wage increases in construction, trade and manufacturing. Wages in the construction industry rose by 3.9 percent, compared with a considerably smaller increase of 2.3 percent in the first quarter.
Wage rises in education had a more restrictive effect on the increase in wage rises on the other hand. Collectively agreed wage rises were 3.0 percent higher in the second quarter, compared with 3.3 percent than in the first quarter.
This was the result of a wage increase in education taking effect in April 2007. In 2008 the agreement did not provide in an increase in April, but in January. Consequently the rise in collectively agreed wages was smaller than twelve months previously in the second quarter than in the first quarter of 2008.
Increase in collectively negotiated wage levels by sector of industry, difference between 2nd and 1st quarter 2008
Hefty increase in wage costs
The contractual wage costs were 4.0 percent higher in the second quarter of this year than in the same quarter last year. This is just over 0.5 of a percent point larger than the increase in wages. Wage costs also rose by more than wages from 2002 to 2005. In addition to higher wages, increases in mandatory income-based health care insurance payments by employers were the main contributors to the relatively high wage costs in 2008.
Collectively negotiated wages and contractual wage costs