Uneven conditions: employees in the East work longer than in the West


Uneven relationships Workers in the east work longer than in the West

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Employees in West Germany work fewer hours than employees in the new federal states Employees in West Germany work fewer hours than employees in the new federal states

Employees in West Germany work fewer hours than employees in the new federal states

Source: dpa / Sebastian Gollnow

Employees work more hours in East Germany than in the old federal states – most are in Thuringia. At the same time, people in the new federal states earn less. The top earners live in the far north.

BEmployees in East Germany continue to work longer than in the West – and earn less. In the past year, employees spent 1279 man hours on average in the old federal states. In the east with Berlin it was 1346 hours, that is 67 more. When Berlin is attributed to the West, it is 75 hours more in the East.

At the same time, the gross annual wages per employee in the west of 35.084 euros were almost 5,000 euros higher than in the new Länder of 30,172 euros. This is the result of data from the statistical offices of the federal government and the federal states, which the left parliamentary group has evaluated.

Left-social expert Sabine Zimmermann told the German news agency that the distribution on the labor market was more than a quarter of a century after the turnaround. "The federal government has apparently learned to use a special labor market in the east, which is unacceptable." An essential key to further adjustment is to strengthen the much weaker collective bargaining coverage in the East. Lowest wages and insecure employment must finally be announced in Germany, among other things by raising the minimum wage to 12 euros per hour.

Top earners live in Hamburg

Worked the longest in 2017 according to statistics in Thuringia with 1371 hours. This is followed by Saxony-Anhalt with 1362 hours and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern with 1353 hours per employee. The least working hours were in North Rhine-Westphalia (1261), Saarland (1259) and Rhineland-Palatinate (1255).

For wages and salaries per employee, Hamburg was top with 40,771 euros gross. This is followed by Hessen (37,832 euros) and Baden-Württemberg (36,786 euros). Accordingly, the lowest-earning employees on average in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania with 27,520 euros, before that were Saxony-Anhalt (28,607 euros) and Brandenburg (28,715 euros).

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National salary comparison

Regarding work volume, the working group for the employment accounts of the federation and the Länder registers the actual hours worked at the respective workplace – even for employees with multiple simultaneous jobs. Not included are holidays, parental leave,

Holidays, short-term work or absenteeism. It is not about "intensity or quality of work", explain the statisticians. It is therefore incorrect to speak of differences in "care" or "willingness to work".

Tariff rules as a reason for differences

The causes of differences include tariff rules. The weekly working hours of 40 hours in the west still accounted for 8 percent of salaried employees, but 40 percent in the east, according to an evaluation by the Institute for Economic and Social Sciences of the uni-friendly Hans Böckler Foundation of 2017. The number of holidays and the proportion of full-time, part-time and low-paid work also have an influence. Employees are employees and employees, civil servants, judges, soldiers, trainees and trainees.

How high earners earn on a regional basis can depend on companies with well-paid jobs. The salary level is also influenced by the qualification of employees. The level of gross wages alone does not say anything about purchasing power – this depends on the cost of living, for example for rent or food, which also varies from region to region.

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