Modest rise again for collectively agreed wages in 2011

The increase in collectively negotiated wage rates was again modest in 2011. Just as in 2010, wages rose by 1.3 percent on average.

Inflation exceeds wage rises

Collectively agreed wages rose by substantially less than inflation in 2011. Prices rose by an average 2.3 percent last year. This means wages lagged a full percent point behind inflation. 

Although wages rose modestly in 2011, the increase did grow in the course of the year. In the first quarter of 2011 wages rose by 1.1 percent, in the last quarter by 1.5 percent.

Wage rates and contractual wage costs per quarter

Wage rates and contractual wage costs per quarter

Strongest increases in transport and communication

The transport and communication sector reported the largest wage increases in 2011: 1.9 percent.  Education was the only sector in which wage rates fell in 2011. As a result of the abolition of a one-off bonus in the collective wage agreement for university staff, wages were 0.1 percent lower in this sector than in 2010.

Wages rises by sector

Wages rises by sector

Many collective negotiations have not yet been concluded

In the fourth quarter of 2011, 78 percent of collective wage agreements had been concluded. The percentage of concluded agreements differs per sector. All agreements had been concluded in the hotel and restaurant sector, while in education only 48 percent had been agreed. In public administration the percentage was lower than 34, too low to publish wage developments for this sector.

Contractual wage costs up 1.7 percent

Contractual wage costs were 1.7 percent higher in 2011 than in 2010. This was partly because of the rise in collectively agreed wages, but also because the employer-paid contribution to the sector fund rose in 2011. National changes that apply for all sectors did not have an effect, as the increase in the compulsory income-related employer-paid contribution to health insurance is compensated by the reduction in the basic premium for disability insurance.

Wage costs rose by 1.9 and 1.6 percent respectively in the CAO sectors private companies and subsidised corporations. They rose by most compared with wages in the private companies sector. This is mainly because in this sector the employer-paid contribution to the sector fund rose by more than in the other two sectors.

The government sector reported the smallest rise in wage costs: 0.5 percent. Last year wage costs in this sector rose by more than average.

Increases in contractual wage costs by CAO sector

Increases in contractual wage costs by CAO sector

Monique Hartog