Structure of Earnings Survey

According to the Structure of Earnings Survey (SES) 2018 the median gross hourly earnings (excluding overtime) in the private sector amounted to €15.09. Compared to the SES 2014 the gross hourly wages rose nominally by 8.8% or 2.2% per year. Real gross hourly earnings, which are adjusted for inflation, increased by 2.6% or 0.7% per year. In industries and construction (ÖNACE 2008 B-F) the increase in wages between 2014 und 2018 was nominally 9.7% (real 3.5%) and therefore stronger than in trade and services (ÖNACE 2008 G-N, P-S) with 8.1% (real 2.0%).

With €16.66 the hourly earnings in industries and construction were traditionally higher than in trade and services with €14.19. By individual economic sectors the highest earnings were found in section (D) electricity (€24.75), (K) financial and insurance activities (€22.29) as well as in (J) information and communication (€21.10). The lowest gross hourly earnings were observed in (I) accommodation and food service activities (€9.67).

Broken down by occupation, managers (€30.72) ranked among the highest paid employees. The earnings of professionals were €21.62 in 2018, followed by technicians and associate professionals with €18.42. Office clerks earned less (€15.06) than craft and related trades workers (€15.65). Service and sales workers (€11.59) and employees in elementary occupations (€10.77) had the lowest earnings.

In all economic sectors examined, the (median) gross hourly earnings of women were lower than those of men. All in all, women earned €13.43 and men €16.26 per hour. This means in general women earned 17.4% less than men.

The comparison of white-collar workers and blue-collar workers also shows that among white-collar workers women earned €15.36 and men €21.05. Female blue-collar workers made €10.03 and male blue-collar workers €14.19 per hour. Among marginal part timers, women earned €10.01 and men €10.23 per hour. 

The distribution of earnings broken down by age groups shows a stronger growth in men's hourly earnings as compared to women's. Especially in the age groups from 30 upwards women's earnings fell behind those of men. This is reflected in the fact that men aged 30 to 39 years earned €16.39, while men between 50 and 59 years earned €18.66 (+13.9%). In contrast, the earnings of women aged 30 to 39 years were €13.95, while women aged 50 to 59 years earned €14.48 (+3.8%).

Earnings for both men and women rose consistently in relation to their length of service in the enterprise. Earnings of employees with a length of 15 to 19 years were around 500% higher as compared to employees with a length of service of less than one year. Employees reaching a length of 30 and more years of service earned almost twice as much as employees with less than one year. The growth in women's earnings was stronger than that of men's. Consequently, the gender-related differences in earnings decreased with a long duration of service.

The results also indicate a positive impact of education on gross hourly earnings. Employees with basic education only (ISCED 0-2) earned €11.51 per hour. Employees with secondary education (ISCED 3-4) earned €14.73. The median gross hourly earnings of person employed with additional short-cycle education or Bachelor degree (ISCED5-6) amounted to €17.67. Employees with tertiary education (ISCED 7-8) earned €23.79 per hour.

Please consult our German website for tables and charts containing further information.

Results of the Structure of Earnings Surveys for all Member States of the European Union are available in the Eurostat database.

Results (overview): Gross hourly earnings 2014 / 2018
Gross hourly earnings by individual and job characteristics 2018
Gross hourly, monthly and annual earnings of full- and part-time employees 2018

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