Increase collectively agreed wages slows down further

06/10/2009 15:00

In the third quarter of 2009, collectively negotiated (CAO) wages were 2.4 percent up on one year previously. The increase is evidently lower than in the first and second quarter, when CAO wages increased by 3.7 and 3.0 percent respectively.

Recession affects new CAO agreements

The effects of the economic crisis are reflected in collectively negotiated wages. In new agreements, wage demands tend to be more moderate. One quarter of CAO wage increases in the third quarter were the result of negotiations concluded this year.

CAO wages and contractual wage costs

CAO wages and contractual wage costs

Most substantial increase recorded in sector health care and welfare

With 3.5 percent, wages in the sector health care and welfare rose most rapidly in the third quarter. In the construction sector and the sector hotels and restaurants wages also rose above average (3.0 percent). In the preceding five years, the sector hotels and restaurants accounted for the smallest wage increase. Relatively high wage increases in these sectors were predominantly the result of CAO agreements negotiated prior to 2009. 

The sector public utilities accounted for the smallest wage increase by 0.8 percent. An important CAO agreement in this sector has recently been concluded.

CAO wage increases by sector

CAO wage increases by sector

Wage costs in tune with CAO wages

In the third quarter, contractual wage costs grew by 2.5 percent. The increase is approximately the same as the increase in CAO wages.

The value of pension fund investments has shrunk dramatically. An obvious road to recovery is raising pension contributions. So far, only the National Civil Pension Fund (ABP) and several smaller pension funds have raised their contributions. These intermediate contribution increases in the third quarter of 2009 had little effect on contractual wage costs.

Monique Hartog