Geriatric nurses, drivers and retail workers earn significantly less in Germany than the average for all employed persons. Meanwhile, others are also declaring “system relevance” for their industry. An overview.

An important link in the supply chain: a cashier in the supermarket cleans the conveyor belt with disinfectant.

Dhe Corona crisis makes it clear that people in so-called systemically important professions are paid comparatively low levels. Geriatric nurses, drivers and retail workers generally earn significantly less than skilled workers in the economy as a whole, as the quarterly earnings survey by the Federal Statistical Office shows.

The mean value for skilled workers in the German economy was therefore 3327 euros, excluding special payments, in the past year. All occupational groups are included, i.e. the service sector as well as the manufacturing sector, which by definition includes industry as a manufacturing sector, as well as mining, construction and the energy sector.

Medical and nursing professionals earned above average gross earnings of EUR 3502 per month. According to statisticians, these simple skilled workers, such as nurses, make up around half of the hospital staff. However, the other half earn less from this area, as in the case of semi-skilled workers (2763 euros) or significantly more in the case of outstanding specialists such as intensive care nurses (4524 euros) or hospital doctors in management positions (8545 euros).

Only specialists in energy supply earn more than medical and nursing specialists at 4025 euros gross per month. Ordinary specialists in public safety and order, including the police and fire brigade, are roughly average at 3374 euros. All other skilled workers in the so-called systemically relevant professions have gross monthly earnings of less than 3327 euros.

In old people’s and nursing homes, for example, ordinary skilled workers earn a below-average gross figure of 3,116 euros per month. There, too, they make up around half (52 percent) of the workforce. There is still far less to be earned in the transport of goods by road, at 2554 euros, and in retail, where only 2186 euros are paid.

In addition: In contrast to medical and nursing staff, in which only 8 percent of employees are semi-skilled or unskilled, 43 percent are semi-skilled or unskilled in food retailing. This large group of semi-skilled workers only receive 1980 euros if they work full-time.

Employers and trade unions in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries have just made it clear that the concept of systemic relevance can be expanded depending on the interpretation. Their industry is also systemically relevant, according to a joint statement by the Association of the Chemical Industry (VCI) and the Mining, Chemical and Energy Industrial Union (IG BCE). “Starting with the raw material, the entire value chain of the chemical-pharmaceutical industry must be preserved.” It must therefore be ensured that employees can continue to get to their workplaces even in the event of curfews, that the supply of raw materials is guaranteed and that supply chains work.

“Everything has to be done to maintain around 465,000 jobs in companies in the chemical-pharmaceutical industry,” warn VCI and IG BCE. The federal government has brought a lot of relief and liquidity aids on the way. “More will have to follow,” says the joint statement.