Corona crisis depresses the merits in Germany

The gross monthly salaries fell more sharply in the spring than they have been in years – but the short-time allowance was able to cushion a lot.

At the BMW plant in Leipzig: Many companies have sent their employees on short-time work.

Dhe gross monthly earnings of full-time and part-time employees in Germany fell as sharply as they have not for years because of the Corona crisis in spring. They fell by an average of 2.2 percent in the second quarter of 2019, as the Federal Statistical Office announced on Tuesday. “The widespread use of short-time working due to the corona pandemic had negative effects on the level and development of gross monthly earnings and working hours.”

At the same time, the short-time work allowance has largely cushioned the loss of income for the employees. The paid weekly working hours of employees fell by an average of 4.7 percent. “The gross hourly earnings, on the other hand, were not influenced by short-time working,” emphasized the statisticians. They rose by an average of 2.6 percent over the course of a year.

Hotels and travel agencies badly affected

The gross earnings are only the earnings paid by the employer and do not include any special payments such as vacation pay or short-time work allowance. In July, according to calculations by the Ifo Institute, the number of short-time workers fell to 5.6 million, after around seven million in May.

The short-time working as well as the contact restrictions and business closings due to the corona pandemic hit the individual industries to varying degrees in the second quarter of 2020. The largest declines in gross monthly earnings were in the accommodation sectors with 18 percent, the manufacture of motor vehicles with 17 percent and in the travel agencies and tour operators sector with 15 percent.

The main reason for this is the decrease in working hours, which was 20 percent (accommodation, manufacture of vehicles) and 18 percent (travel industry). The sectors of the economy also strongly affected by negative gross wages are aviation, gastronomy and retail.