Wage rage? Average wages still considerably lower in the former East
The amount you take home at the end of the month doesn’t just depend on the job you do or how hard you work. According to new statistics, where you live might just be the most important factor.
New statistics from the Federal Employment Department have illustrated stark differences in wages across the different regions of Germany.
The statistics, which provide a breakdown of earnings in the 16 German states along with individual towns and cities, have shown that despite average wages marginally increasing in the past year across the country, a significant divergence remains - particularly between east and west.
The Germany-wide average grew from €3,133 to €3,209 in 2017, an increase of €76 from 2016. However despite consistent efforts over the past three decades to raise wages in the former East and boost the economy, including the so-called Solidarity Tax and other measures, there is still a significant difference in wage levels.
The average wage in the former West is €3,339 per month, compared with €2,600 in the east - a monthly difference of over €700.
The study considers brutto earnings, i.e. wages before tax, and doesn’t take inflation into account.
While the study doesn’t account for cost of living differences in different regions, it does provide a considerable indication of the economically powerful regions of Germany - and those which lag behind.
On top of the list is the city-state Hamburg, where the average monthly wage is €3,619, followed closely by Baden-Württemberg (€3,546) and Hessen (€3,494).
On the other end of the scale, the state with the lowest earnings is Mecklenburg-Vorpommern where a monthly pay packet averages €2,391, followed by Thuringia (€2,459) and Saxony (€2,479).
The study also showed the differences between German cities and towns, with Bavaria’s Ingolstadt - home of Audi, Media Markt, Saturn and Airbus - the highest earning city with a monthly average wage of €4,635. Germany’s lowest earning regional average of €2,183 is found in Görlitz on the Polish border.