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.