Basic pay rises by 2.2% in 1998

On average, basic wages and salaries rose by 2.2% in Austria in 1998. Mining and chemicals were amongst the industries with the highest rises whilst cleaning services and arts/entertainment were amongst the lowest. The index for average basic pay (1986=100) stood at 156.7 points.

In 1998, basic wages and salaries agreed in collective agreements in Austria rose by an average of 2.2%, compared with 1.7% in 1997 (AT9802169N) and 2.4% in 1996 (AT9702103N), according to figures from the Austrian Central Statistical Office. The basic pay of wage earners grew by 2.3%, irrespective of the level of qualifications, while: that of salary earners grew by 2.2%; that of public servants by 2.2%; and that of employees in public transport by 2.4%. The 1986 index (that is, with 1986=100) stood at 163.8, 160.1, 142.0, and 151.0 respectively for the four categories of employee. Overall, the index stood at 156.7 as an annual average. The table below provides more details, by sector.

% basic pay rises in Austria, by sector, 1998
Sector Wage earners Salary earners
Agriculture and forestry 1.8 1.9
Craft production 2.2 2.0
Industrial production 2.6 3.1
Commerce 1.7 1.7
Transport and broadcasting 1.5 1.5
Tourism 2.5 1.7
Money, credit, insurance - 1.7
Other trades - 1.9

Source: Austrian Central Statistical Office.

The industries with the largest rises were the same as in 1997, namely mining/quarrying, ceramics/glass and chemicals, all at 2.9% (1997: 3.1%), followed by metalworking at 2.7% (1997: 2.9%), which was matched by construction and pulp/paper/cardboard. Restaurants and hotels were next at 2.5%, unchanged from 1997. At the bottom end, basic wages and salaries in cleaning services rose by only 0.8%, in arts, entertainment, sports and health by 1.5%, and in banking and insurance by 1.7%.

Estimates of how many workers earned less than the trade unions' stated minimum income target of ATS 168,000 gross per year for full-time employment were discontinued because of their speculative nature. At the same time the introduction of the euro single currency has brought about first calls to raise the target to EUR 14,000, an increase of 15%.

Whilst there is considerable interest in the income differentials between women and men, no new efforts have been made to improve the inadequate data base. All available data show major advantages for men but none of them can be adjusted for all the variables that might matter in affecting differentials.

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