Wage and salary earners'
real incomes are now decreasing
after a long period of steady increase
Helsinki (01.06.2011 - Juhani Artto) Statistics for the 2011 January-March
quarterly period show that the real incomes of wage and salary earners were
1.0 per cent below the level for January-March 2010. It was back in
July-September 2007 when quarterly statistics showed the last previous
negative trend, but one has to go back to 1993 to find negative figures on
an annual basis.
When trying to assess 2011 as a whole, current data available suggests
negative growth in respect of the real value of wages and salaries.
Collective agreements signed since August 2010 have meant lower pay rises
when measured against inflation.
agreements, signed in August-December 2011 managed to raise wages and
salaries by about 2 per cent or slightly below. However, new agreements
signed this year have succeeded in improving nominal wages and salaries more
than that, yet these gains are likely to be offset by continued growth in
inflation. Economists are predicting that inflation in 2011 will exceed 3
Circumstances where trade unions have tried to defend the real earnings of
workers and salaried employees have been very demanding as the global
financial and economic crisis caused an 8 per cent drop in the Finnish GDP.
The economy has recovered but the level prior to the crisis has not yet been