Germany chem labour costs keep rising, but productivity falls

20 November 2013 17:50  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Labour costs in Germany’s chemical industry keep rising but productivity is falling, jeopardising the industry’s international competitiveness, the country’s chemical employers trade group, BAVC, said on Wednesday, citing the results of a study it conducted.

BAVC said that in 2012, chemical labour costs were €51.50/hour ($69.59/hour) in western Germany, up 5.2% from 2011 and up by more than 10% over two years from 2010.

In eastern Germany, chemical labour costs were €36.78/hour, up 7.2% from 2011 and up by more than 16% over two years from 2010.

Total labour costs for a full-time chemical industry worker in western Germany were €82,396 in 2012, while in eastern Germany they were €60,680.

However, productivity in the industry fell 3.8% in 2012 and 2.3% in 2011, the Wiesbaden-based group said.

When wages rise but productivity does not, labour costs per hour – “a decisive factor in international competitiveness” – keep rising, BAVC said.

“What is urgently needed to remain internationally competitive is an increased awareness of costs,” it added.

For the upcoming 2014 collective bargaining wage round in Germany's chemical industry, chemical trade union IG BCE is calling for a 5.5% wage hike. Under the industry's existing 19-month collective framework deal from 2012, workers got a 4.5% wage hike. In 2011, they won a 4.1% hike.

$1 = €0.74)

Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in his Chemicals and the Economy Blog

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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