Smaller rise in collectively agreed wages in second quarter

07/07/2009 15:00

Collectively negotiated wage rates were 3.0 percent higher in the second quarter of 2009 than in the same period last year. This increase is substantially smaller than the 3.7 percent rise in the first quarter. This reflects the effects of the credit crisis.

Increase in collectively agreed wage rates per quarter

Increase in collectively agreed wage rates per quarter

Largest rise in subsidised sector


The rise in collectively agreed wage rates  was largest (3.9 percent) is the subsidised sector in the second quarter of 2009. This increase is substantially larger than the average wage rise for all sectors. In the first quarter of 2009, too, the wage increase was largest in this sector. From the first quarter of 2009, age-related extra days leave were withdrawn and basic leave was introduced. This explains why the hourly rate in this sector was higher in the first half of 2009 than 2008.

The private sector is by far the largest wage sector. The collectively agreed wage rise in this sector was 3.0 percent in the second quarter. In the first quarter it was still 3.7 percent. In the public sector, collectively agreed wage rates rose by 2.8 percent in the second quarter.

Increase in collectively agreed wage rates by sector

Increase in collectively agreed wage rates by sector

Wage costs in line with wages

Contractual wage costs were 3.1 percent higher in the second quarter of 2009 than twelve months previously. This increase is around the same level as that in collectively agreed wages.

This does not mean that all employer-paid contributions have remained at the same level. Employers’ contribution to unemployment benefits and obligatory income-based employer-paid contributions are respectively 0.6 and 0.3 of a percent point lower than twelve months previously. Because of the higher pension premiums the total rise in wage costs is still 0.1 of a percent point higher than the rise in collectively agreed wages in the second half of 2009. 

In 2008 the increase in wage costs, 3.8 percent, was still relatively large. In addition to higher wage rates (3.3 percent), this increase was caused by the increase in obligatory income-based employers’ contribution to health insurance. 

Collectively agreed wage rates and contractual wage costs

Collectively agreed wage rates and contractual wage costs

  Monique Hartog