Collectively negotiated wage increase highest since the end of 2009

In the first quarter of this year, collectively negotiated (CAO) wages increased by 1.8 percent. The wage increase is the highest since the end of 2009, but is still far below the level of inflation. Contractual wage costs increased by 2.2 percent in the first quarter.

Wage increase has been below inflation level for eleven quarters

The average wage increase has been below the level of inflation since the third quarter of 2010. This was also the case in the first quarter of 2013: the collectively negotiated wage increase is 1.8 percent versus an inflation rate of 3.0 percent. Over the past thirty months, inflation has risen more rapidly than the collectively negotiated wage increase.

Collectively negotiated wage increase

Collectively negotiated wage increase

Highest wage increases in sector financial institutions

In the first quarter of 2013, the highest increase in collectively negotiated wages occurred in the sector financial institutions (2.6 percent). This is partly due to two collective wage agreements negotiated in the banking sector. The wage increases laid down in these agreements for the second half of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013 are relatively high. With 0.8 percent, the lowest wage increase occurred in the sector hotels and restaurants, because, since the beginning of this year, the end-of-year bonus is no longer part of the agreement in this sector, but will be negotiated per individual employee in 2013.

No data available in public administration and education

Only in one quarter of cases, wage agreements were signed in the government sector by the end of the first quarter of 2013. In the government CAO sector, the validity period of a number of important agreements expired more than a year ago. As a result, no data are available for public administration and education. In the subsidised sector and the private sector, collective wage agreements were concluded in 84 and 72 percent respectively.

Collectively negotiated wage increase by sector of industry


Contractual wage costs 2.2 percent up

In the first quarter of 2013, contractual wage costs were 2.2 percent up, due to the collectively negotiated wage increase and a change in employer contributions. National contributions for unemployment, disability to work and health care costs, for example, were changed.

Collectively negotiated wages and contractual wage costs

Collectively negotiated wages and contractual wage costs

Monique Hartog