Inflation: Reallohnverluste trotz kräftiger Tariferhöhungen

Beschäftigte eines Reperaturwerks in Sachsen-Anhalt an Statoren für E-Motoren und Generatoren

Beschäftigte eines Reperaturwerks in Sachsen-Anhalt an Statoren für E-Motoren und Generatoren

Foto: Waltraud Grubitzsch/ / DPA

The tariff agreements reached in the first half of the year, as well as salary increases agreed upon in previous years for 2023, have led to an average increase in German tariff wages of 5.6 percent. However, due to significant price increases, there is an overall average real wage loss of 1.7 percent, according to a study by the Economic and Social Sciences Institute (WSI) of the Hans-Böckler Foundation.

Due to tax-free inflation compensation bonuses, the losses for some employees are expected to be „significantly smaller,“ added the researchers. The impact of these legally enabled bonuses cannot be fully taken into account in the calculations because they vary depending on individual tax rates, according to WSI on Thursday. However, it is certain that the agreed bonuses contribute to maintaining purchasing power in many collective bargaining areas.

According to the investigation, tariff increases had already been agreed upon for over 9.2 million employees by 2022 or earlier, including major industries such as the metal and electrical industry or the chemical industry. The average wage increase in these cases amounts to 5.1 percent. New agreements in the first half of 2023 with average tariff increases of 6.6 percent would affect an additional 4.4 million employees, including Deutsche Post and the public service.

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Looking ahead to further developments, the researchers at the union-affiliated foundation are optimistic: „In general, a more positive trend in real wage development can be expected for the rest of the year, as inflation is likely to decrease noticeably,“ they explained. According to the WSI, approximately half of the approximately 34 million employees in Germany who are subject to social security contributions have a collective bargaining agreement.