• Germany edition
 
German productivity up thanks to lower wages
Photo: DPA

German productivity up thanks to lower wages

Published: 01 May 2012 11:30 GMT+02:00
Updated: 01 May 2012 23:46 GMT+02:00

The information should make the increasingly difficult labour discussions between trade union IG Metall and employers, even tougher.

Warning strikes have already taken place by workers demanding better wages and conditions. The union wants a 6.5 percent wage hike and the unconditional hiring of trainees following their internship period.

Massive demonstrations are expected Tuesday, Labour Day, all over the country, with violence expected, as usual, in some Berlin neighbourhoods. Police have called in for reinforcements, as is the custom, for the day.

The data office said average productivity per hour worked rose 3.4 percent in the European Union between 2005 and 2010.

But Germany posted a 4.0 percent increase for the time period, while in France it was 3.0 percent and Italy showed virtually no gains.

Overall, unit labour costs rose 6.2 percent in the EU, but were only 3.6 percent higher in Germany, due to the moderate wage increases in the last years.

Except for the crisis years of 2008 and 2009, unit labour costs actually declined in Germany between 2005 and 2010, the data office said.

DAPD/The Local/mw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

13:16 May 1, 2012 by smart2012
Big issue is that now companies in Germany (more than in other EU countries) hire temporary workers and salaries are ridicoulus.. (and they are not counted in unemployement numbers even if they just work 15-20 hours for a short period of time). Example: they guys from a big company which came to mount my furniture in Munich earned 60 Euros for 10 hours work and (being self employed as outsourced) they need to pay food for the day/diesel for the van plus of course taxes. And then they say Germany is booming........
14:17 May 1, 2012 by Englishted
@smart2012

Completely correct, the other problem is the unemployment office in league with these agencies and if some journalist would take the time to investigate this link I'm am sure there would be some dark practices to uncover.

However the German press seem to pull the party line of whoever is in power ,free press it may be but toothless it is.

So as in ever major European country the gap between rich and poor grows year on year how long this trend can continue before people wake up I don't know.
14:58 May 1, 2012 by ChrisRea
So the wages in Germany were increased at about the same rate as the productivity (3.6% versus 4%)? That sounds pretty acceptable for me, considering that technology is also responsible for higher productivity.

What is really worrying is that in the rest of the EU the costs with the labour per unit increase faster then productivity. People should earn more, but there should be a sustainable basis behind it (education/qualification which generate increased efficiency/productivity).
17:13 May 1, 2012 by smart2012
Englisted, fully agree. And the risk in Germany is that this may become an interracial issue (eg Turkish against Germans), which would fuel a disaster
04:10 May 2, 2012 by volvoman9
Curious title. One would naturally surmise that lower wages provide the incentive for increased productivity. Ha! The corporate world is at war with labour in order to increase their bottom line. Their excuse is that lower labor costs increases the competitive edge yet the consumer fails to see prices decrease. Guess where the savings end up? Bingo! We are being duped by a cadre of geed mongers who own the political machine. Nothing ever really changes does it. Eat the rich!!!!!
08:48 May 2, 2012 by catjones
volvoman9...it's called Capitalism. They've written books about the subject.
Today's headlines
And the winner of the EU single market is...
German incomes are higher thanks to the EU. Photo: DPA

And the winner of the EU single market is...

Germany and Denmark came out as the winners of the European Union's single market in a study released on Monday. Integrating economically with its neighbours has helped the German economy grow an average of €37 billion a year since 1992. READ  

Synagogue attacked, rabbi gets death threats
Police check the outside of a synagogue in Wuppertal for evidence of arson on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Synagogue attacked, rabbi gets death threats

A wave of anti-Semitism in Germany, unleashed by the Gaza crisis, shows no sign of abating. A synagogue was attacked on Tuesday morning, a rabbi received death threats and anti-Jewish comments online have increased. Attacks on mosques have also risen. READ  

UBS pays Germany €300m in tax fight
Photo: DPA

UBS pays Germany €300m in tax fight

Top Swiss bank UBS settled a long-running legal dispute with Germany on Tuesday by agreeing to pay a fine of €300 million. Germany suspects UBS of having helped account holders hide millions from the taxman. READ  

Man drowns in cellar as heavy rain hits west
Münster was one of the areas worst hit by Monday night's heavy rain. Photo: DPA

Man drowns in cellar as heavy rain hits west

UPDATE: A man drowned in his cellar on Monday night as heavy rain battered parts of north-western Germany. The emergency services were in places overwhelmed by hundreds of calls. There are further weather warnings in place for Tuesday. READ  

EU to hit Russia with tough sanctions
Merkel has finally lost patience with Putin. Photo: DPA

EU to hit Russia with tough sanctions

The EU is set to agree a raft of new wide-ranging sanctions against Russia on Tuesday, after Germany changed its stance on upping the economic pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin over the Ukraine crisis. READ  

'Mad professor' to swim length of Rhine
Professor Andreas Fath, 49, in training along the Rhine in Baden-Württemberg in June. Photo: DPA

'Mad professor' to swim length of Rhine

German chemistry professor Andreas Fath started on Monday a gruelling four-week solo swim down the Rhine river for the benefit of science and the environment. READ  

Unfair advantage for one-legged long jumper?
Markus Rehm became German champion on Saturday. Photo: DPA

Unfair advantage for one-legged long jumper?

Paralympics gold medallist Markus Rehm triumphed over his non-disabled rivals on Saturday, winning the German long jump championship. But athletics officials are now reviewing whether his prosthetic leg gave him an unfair advantage. READ  

Woodcarving champions - in pictures
Photo: DPA

Woodcarving champions - in pictures

Chainsaws, wood planes and sand paper were out over the weekend in Saxony-Anhalt where more than 30 artists competed in the International Woodcarving Championships. READ  

Hamburg could treat infected Ebola doctor
Liberian health workers in protective clothing bury an Ebola victim in early July. Photo: DPA

Hamburg could treat infected Ebola doctor

UPDATE: A doctor infected with the deadly Ebola virus while trying to help stop it spreading through West Africa could travel to a Hamburg clinic for treatment. READ  

Germany evacuates embassy in Libya
Black smoke billowing from a storage depot of fuel that was hit by a rocket the night before near the airport in Tripoli on July 28th. Photo: EPA/SABRI ELMHEDWI

Germany evacuates embassy in Libya

UPDATE: Germany pulled its embassy staff out of Tripoli on Monday, a day after advising all its citizens currently in Libya to leave the strife-torn country immediately. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Hamburg harbour lit up in blue
Business & Money
JobTalk: 'Application process is failing'
Photo: Bundesarchiv/Bild 183-S45825
Culture
Germany puts 700,000 WWI docs online
Photo: DPA
Society
This man wants to give all of us €12,000 a year
Photo: DPA
Education
Top university switches master's courses to English
instagram.com/gotzemario
Gallery
Germany's World Cup stars share their holiday photos
Travel
Plans unveiled for bike trail along former Iron Curtain
Photo: DPA
Sport
Yoga helped Jogi's boys bring World Cup home
Photo: DPA
National
Pressure on police over anti-Semitic protests
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The Local List: 12 best words in German
Photo: DPA
Politics
View from Germany: 'Nobody will win in an economic war with Russia'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
German Bucket List: How many of these can you tick off?
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: Shutterstock
Features
Some of the most embarrassing mistakes you can make in German
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual school turning education on its head
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,221
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd