Basic pay up 2.3% in western Germany in 1996

According to recent research, collectively-agreed basic wages and salaries in western Germany increased by an average of about 2.3% in 1996

According to a recent analysis by the Institute for Economics and Social Science (Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut, WSI) basic wages and salaries in western Germany grew on average by about 2.3% in 1996. Thus, pay increased by about 0.8 percentage points above the inflation rate, which stood at 1.5% in 1996. Altogether, about 15.1 million employees were covered by collective agreements signed in 1996. The highest pay increases, at 2.8%, were in the energy and water industry and in the iron and steel industry. The lowest increases were in banking (1.5%), post and telecommunications (1.4%) and public services (1.3%).

The moderate pay increases were mainly the result of the 1995 collective bargaining round, which still affected wages and salaries in 1996. Compared to the previous year 1996's pay increases were rather low: in 1995 the average growth of wages and salaries had been 3.6%

In eastern Germany basic wages and salaries grew by an average about 5.0% in 1996. As a result, eastern average basic pay reached about 88.7% of western levels.

The table below sets out the increases in basic wages and salaries for 1995 and 1996 in selected western German sectors

Sector Increases of basic wages and salaries
. 1996 1995
Energy and water 2.8% 2.8%
Iron and steel 2.8% 2.6%
Metalworking 2.7% 5.1%
Wood processing 2.7% 3.1%
Retail trade 2.7% 3.3%
Hotels and restaurants 2.5% 3.7%
Metal trade 2.4% 3.1%
Printing 2.4% 2.0%
Sweets and candies 2.4% 3.5%
Construction 2.4% 3.5%
Wholesale trade 2.4% 3.4%
All sectors 2.3% 3.6%
Leather 2.2% 3.2%
Textiles and clothing 2.1% 3.7%
Private transport 2.1% 3.5%
Chemicals 2.0% 3.7%
Railways (Deutsche Bahn AG) 1.9% 3.1%
Banking 1.5% 3.4%
Post, telecommunications 1.4% 3.5%
Public services 1.3% 3.5%

Source: WSI collective agreements archives 1996

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