In no other country of the European Union earnings increased as slowly as in Germany. Since 2000, wages grew, according to Federal Statistical Office, just 21.8 percent. Trade unionists see the reason in the increase of short-time work (“Kurzarbeit”).
The average income in Germany shrank by 4.5 percent. This puts Germany in a comparison of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in last place. On average, the wages and salaries in the EU increased by 35.5 percent since 2000. The highest increases were in comparatively poor Romania with an increase of 559.3 percent. Similar to German employees, Portuguese, French and Austrians also got only a below-average increase in their wages.
In worldwide comperison, wages rose by almost a quarter, reports the International Labour Organization in its Global Wage Report. In developed countries as Norway, Cyprus and Finland workers profit the most.
Already modified by the Federal Statistical Office, figures show that the German wages have risen more slowly than in the rest of Europe. The ILO now presents inflation-adjusted figures, which take into account the higher prices in Germany, so gross-wages actually declined in Germany!
It is clear that Germany has come surprisingly well through the crisis and the International Labour Organisation experts positively evaluate the crisis management of Germany; the short-time work was very successful to save jobs during the crisis.
But the crisis have not hit all Germans, the economic slump has opened the income gap between rich and poor in the country. Looking at the recent statistics, a clear picture reveals: The higher in the corporate hierarchy you are, the better paid you will be – regardless of the economy situation. According to a study by the consulting firm “Personal Market”, Manager in Germany increased their salaries since 2003, an average of 15 percent from 77 290 € to 88 940 € annually!