In 2006, German women earned an average of €14.05 per hour compared with a gross hourly wage of €18.38 for male workers, equivalent to a 24 percent pay gap, according to a study released Tuesday by the Federal Statistical Office.
The difference in pay shrinks to just 4 percent for workers 24 years old and younger and widens to 10 percent for those between 25 and 29. Female workers in their late thirties earn an average of 22 percent less than men, which the government office attributed to breaks for childbearing.
“In 2006, women were an average of 30 years old during the birth of their first child,” the Federal Statistical Office said.
The gap is most pronounced just years before retirement – women 60 years and older bring in 31 percetn less than men, according to the office.
While the mining industry has the smallest pay disparity at just 5 percent, the business services industry has the most egregious gap of 30 percent. The insurance and credit industry is a close second, paying women 29 percent less than men.
Women employed at news outlets earn 9 percent less than men while female teachers pull down 16 percent less than male teachers.
The inequality is less pronounced in the states of the former East Germany. Women there earn an average of just 6 percent less than men, but the average gap rises to 25 percent in the former West Germany.
“One cause is the significantly higher pay for men in [the former West Germany] compared to [the former East]. The gross hourly wage for men in [the former West] was 49 percent above the men in” eastern Germany, the office said.
Female workers in the former communist nation earn 19 percent less than their western countrywomen.