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More are working for low wages

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More are working for low wages
Photo: DPA
16:09 CEST+02:00
The proportion of people working for low wages in Germany is on the increase in what appears to be a long-term trend, data published by the national statistics office Destatis on Monday showed.

In 2010, the ratio of Germans working in the low-wage sector stood at 20.6 percent, compared with the 18.7 percent in 2006, the statisticians calculated.

"This increase is the continuation of a long-term trend," said Destatis chief Roderich Egeler.

A low wage is defined as being less than two thirds of the median salary for the working population as a whole and, for 2010, translated to an hourly wage of less than €10.36 in real terms, Destatis said in a statement.

Most of the low-wage workers had jobs with limited, temporary or part-time contracts and were employed in areas such as taxi-driving, hair-dressing or hotels and catering.

Around a decade ago, Germany pushed through deep-reaching reforms of its labour market and welfare system in a bid to bring down unemployment.

But critics say the reforms, known as Agenda 2010, widened social inequality.

AFP/hc

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