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Global Economy

Women and East Germans are catching up

The difference between earnings in western and eastern Germany has narrowed. According to an evaluation by the Federal Employment Agency, wages and salaries in the east were 619 euros below those in the west last year. The year before, the difference was 650 euros. The gap has thus narrowed by almost five percent. The difference between the earnings of men and women also decreased: men received an average of 373 euros more than women. In 2017 the difference was 452 euros.

Median salary increases by 2.6 percent

For the evaluation, the Federal Agency calculated the median wages of all full-time employees subject to social security contributions. This means that half of the employees earn a salary that is below this median salary, the other half above it.

Last year, according to calculations by the Federal Employment Agency, the median salary increased by 89 to 3516 euros compared to the previous year – an increase of 2.6 percent. After only a slight increase in 2020, the plus was again at a similar level as in previous years.

Hamburg, Baden-Württemberg and Hesse in front

In East Germany, median wages and salaries rose above the 3,000 euro threshold for the first time at 3,007 euros. In western Germany, employees earned 3626 euros. Wages and salaries were highest in Hamburg, Baden-Württemberg and Hesse. The lowest were paid in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt.

While earnings in some sectors fell in 2020 due to the pandemic, they rose again in all sectors of the economy in 2021. The strongest growth was in information and communication technology, qualified services and healthcare. The wages in the production of domestic goods such as food or clothing, in public administration and in the metal and electrical industry rose the least.

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