Wage growth figures for 1997

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The average wage growth in 1997 for Norwegian wage earners is estimated to have been 4.25%, according to statistics compiled as a basis for the 1998 bargaining round. For the first time, wage growth for top management within the private sector has also been estimated, and it is indicated that top managers have had higher than average wage growth.

On 20 January 1998, theTechnical Calculating Committee on Income Settlement (Det tekniske beregningsutvalget for inntektsoppgjørene, TBU) presented its report, which acts as an important basis for the 1998 wage settlement ("Om grunnlaget for inntektsoppgjøret 1998", TBU, Rapport nr 1, 1998). The average growth in pay for 1997 is estimated to be 4.25%. Workers paid by the hour in industry, within the member firms of theConfederation of Norwegian Business and Industry's (Næringslivets Hovedorganisasjon, NHO) experienced an average annual growth in pay of approximately 4%. The pay of senior staff within NHO firms grew by an average of 5.5%, while other clerical staff and middle management had an average increase in pay of 4.8%. For employees within the state and municipal sector, the committee estimates a pay increase of 4%.

Wage differentials between women and men have continued to decrease. The narrowing of the gap is most noticeable in certain sectors. One possible explanation for this is that female employment has increased most in areas with low and moderate wage levels.

The committee has for the first time included top managers within the private sector in their analysis, and it is the first time that this group's pay increases are included in the report. During the first half of the 1990s, the pay of top managers increased by approximately 1% higher than the increases experienced by average wage earners. From 1995 to 1996 the differences in pay increases were somewhat higher. For 1997, the TBU has data from only a limited sample of top managers, whose pay increased by approximately 6%, against 4.25% for all wage earners. The committee will continue its work to produce a more comprehensive overview of the increases in pay of top managers.

The TBU estimates that the consumer prices index will increase by 2.3% from December 1996 to December 1997. The hourly wage rate within Norwegian industry, measured in a common currency, increased somewhat faster over the period than the average rate amongst Norway's trading partners. The committee estimates an 2.5% increase in the consumer prices index for 1998.

The TBU comprises representatives from the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (Landsorganisasjonen i Norge, LO), the Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry (Næringslivets Hovedorganisasjon, NHO), the Norwegian Farmers' Association (Norges Bondelag), Statistics Norway, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Labour and Administration. The annual reports which are presented prior to the pay settlements are an important basis for the negotiations, and the estimates for the past year's growth in pay is normally accepted by the labour market parties.

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