In the third quarter of 2013, collectively negotiated wages were raised by 1.2 percent relative to the third quarter last year. The increase is smaller than in the previous quarters and also well below the level of inflation of 2.8 percent. Contractual wage costs rose by 1.7 percent in the third quarter.
Wage increase stable since second quarter 2010
Since the second quarter of 2010, wages have shown a steady development. The collectively agreed wage increase has varied between 1.0 and 1.5 percent for three years now. Such a period of stability has not occurred since the turn of the century.
The increase in contractual wage costs was partly caused by changes in employers’ contributions. The national contributions to unemployment, disability and health care costs were changed pretty radically.
Collectively negotiated wages and contractual wage costs
Highest wage increase in sector transport and communication
In the third quarter of 2013, collectively agreed wages in the sector transport and communication have risen most rapidly, by 1.9 percent. With 0.8 percent, wages in the construction sector rose the least. In 2012, the construction sector still had the highest collectively agreed wage increases.
Term collective wage agreements in public sector expired
By the end of September 2013, only one quarter of collective labour agreements in the public sector had been concluded. Various important labour agreements expired more than one year ago and as a result, data for public administration and education are as yet not available. In the subsidised sector and in the private sector, 78 and 65 percent respectively of collective labour agreements were concluded.
Collectively negotiated wage increase by sector
Inflation rate over the past three years twice as high as wage increase
By the end of the third quarter of 2013, consumer prices were 8.1 percent above the level of three years previously. Collectively agreed wages increased by 3.9 percent during that period. People employed in the sector education lost most purchasing power as their wages were not raised. People employed in the sectors transport and communication and health care and welfare achieved the best results. In three years, their wages were raised by 5.4 and 5.2 percent respectively, but even their wages could not keep up with inflation.
Collectively agreed wage increase and inflation; period 3rd quarter 2010-3rd quarter 2013
Monique Hartog and Dick ter Steege