Collectively agreed wage increase 3.7 percent in first quarter of 2009

09/04/2009 15:00

In the first quarter of 2009, collectively negotiated (CAO) wages were 3.7 percent up on one year previously. The increase is more substantial than in 2008, when CAO wages rose by an average of 3.4 percent. Provisional data over this year’s first quarter are based upon 88 percent of collective labour agreements. Most wage contracts were negotiated prior to the worldwide economic downturn.

CAO wages and contractual wage costs per quarter

CAO wages and contractual wage costs per quarter

Largest wage increases in the construction sector

The most substantial increases were recorded in the construction sector, where collectively negotiated wages rose by 4.9 percent in the first quarter of 2009. The smallest wage increases by 2.0 percent were recorded in the sector public utilities. The average increase was also modest in the sector public administration (2.7 percent).

Increase CAO wages by sector

Increase CAO wages by sector

Contractual wage costs 3.6 percent up

In the first quarter of 2009, contractual wage costs went up by 3.6 percent, just a fraction below the increase in CAO wages. This is chiefly caused by a reduction of employer contributions to unemployment insurance and income-related medical insurance schemes. In the fourth quarter of 2008, wage costs still rose by 4.0 percent.

Contractual wage costs by CAO sector

Contractual wage costs by CAO sector

With 2.9 percent, the most modest wage increase in the three CAO sectors in first quarter of 2009 was recorded in the public sector. With 3.5 and 3.8 percent respectively, wage increases in the subsidised and private sector were just short of the average across all sectors. 

Monique Hartog