CAO wages 3.3 percent up in 2008

20/01/2009 15:00

Collectively agreed (CAO) wages rose by 3.3 percent in 2008 relative to one year previously. The increase is much more substantial than in 2007, when wages rose by 2.1 percent. The increase in CAO wages is the same as in the latter half of 2002.

CAO wages and contractual wage costs per quarter

CAO wages and contractual wage costs per quarter

Increase CAO wages exceeds inflation rate in 2008

The CAO wage increase exceeded the inflation rate of 2.5 percent over 2008 by 0.8 percentage points. That is twice as much as in 2007, when the difference was 0.4 percentage points. A positive difference between the CAO wage increase and inflation does not mean that purchasing power will increase proportionally. The net wage is also affected by changes in pension scheme contributions, social contributions and wage tax. Last year, the basic health care premium was also raised. Over the past decade, the increase of CAO wages exceeded inflation by an average of 0.4 percentage points.

Collectively agreed wages and inflation

Collectively agreed wages and inflation

End-of-year payment gradually replaced by thirteenth month in public sector

In the public sector, collectively negotiated wages rose by 3.3 percent. Hourly wages excluding special bonuses increased by 2.1 percent in the public sector, which is considerably lower than in other sectors. Special bonuses rose markedly in the public sector. Since 2007, end-of-year bonuses are negotiated in a number of collective agreements in the public sector. Over the next few years, end-of-year bonuses will gradually be raised to the level of a full thirteenth month payment. In the other two sectors, higher special bonuses are less important.

Increase CAO wages by sector, 2008

Increase CAO wages by sector, 2008

Most substantial wage increases in the sectors culture and other services

With 4.2 percent, CAO wages rose most substantially in culture and other services in 2008. The smallest increase was recorded in the sector hotels and restaurants (2.3 percent).

Contractual wage costs up by 3.9 percent

Contractual wage costs rose by 3.9 percent in 2008. Wage costs rose more rapidly than collectively negotiated wages, mainly because income-related employer contributions to health care were raised.

Monique Hartog