More than one in five paid ‘low wages’ in Germany: report

FRANKFURT, April 18, 2008 (AFP) – More than one German in five works in the “low wage” category, a higher proportion than in Britain but below that in the United States, a press report said Friday. The left-of-centre Frankfurter Rundshau quoted researcher Gerhard Bosch as saying the trend was “worrying.”

“The conclusions for Germany are worrying,” said Bosch, who is director of the IAQ institute at the university in Duisburg-Essen.

He participated in a study carried out in Britain, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States.

In Germany, the number of people considered to be earning low wages increased from 15 percent to 22 percent over the past 10 years, reaching a total of 6.5 million people.

The rate for Britain was 21.7 percent while in the United States, 25 percent of workers were categorised by the study as low-wage earners.

Denmark showed the lowest level at 8.5 percent.

The IAQ institute also noted that Germany had “extremely low salaries, less than five euros (7.95 dollars) an hour,” that were paid to around two million people.

“We did not expect such an unflattering result for Germany,” the study said.

Europe’s biggest economy