Dutch manufacturing and construction workers get highest pay rise

Dutch manufacturing and construction workers get highest pay rise

Collectively agreed wage rates in the Netherlands rose by 1.7 percent in the third quarter of 2012. This is the largest increase in collectively agreed wages since the end of 2009 according to Statistics Netherlands. The increase is still below the level of inflation, which was 2.3 percent. Contractual wage costs were 2.3 percent higher in the third quarter.

Collectively agreed wage rates rose most in the sectors manufacturing and construction, by 2.3 and 2.1 percent respectively. This is mainly the result of higher wage rates in the collective labour agreements for the metal and construction sectors.

Wage rises were smallest in the hotel and restaurant sector: 0.3 percent. The wage agreement for this sector comes into effect in the fourth quarter of 2012, one quarter later than the collectively agreed increase in 2011. This small increase in the hotel and restaurant sector will therefore only apply in the third quarter.

Contractual wage costs rose by 2.3 percent in the third quarter of 2012. This is in addition to the wage increases as a result of a rise in premiums. The employer-paid premium for unemployment benefit rose from 4.20 to 4.55 percent in 2012. Changes were also introduced in employer-paid contributions to health insurance. The increase in contractual wage costs was relatively large in the cao-sector government, at 3.0 percent, mainly as a result of the increase in premiums for the pension fund for government employees.

At the end of the third quarter, the wage effects of three-quarters of collective labour agreements were known. On the basis of these agreements, the average increase in collectively agreed wage rates comes to 1.6 percent for the whole of 2012. In the government sector, only half the agreements have been completed. These include those negotiated for defence, police and municipal government employees. In the subsidised sector and private sector 90 and 79 percent respectively of the collective labour agreements have been completed.

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