German women earn less than men

The wage gap remains unchanged - women received an average of 21 percent less than men in Germany last year.

German women earn less than men

Wiesbaden (dpa) - Women in Germany earn on average a good one-fifth less than men. Last year, women's average gross wage was 17.09 euros per hour (current exchange rate: 19.31 dollars), 21 per cent below the men's average wage of 21.60 euros, the Federal Statistics Office reported Thursday. The wage gap last year was just as large as that of 2017.

The office noted however that around three-fourths of the wage gap was attributable to structural factors. For example, women often enter occupations where wages are relatively lower. In addition, they work less often in leading management positions and more often engage in part-time work - in order to have time to raise children or care for relatives.

In jobs with comparable qualifications and responsibilities, there is still a wage gap, but a smaller one. In this area, women's hourly wage is six per cent lower than that of their male colleagues, according to the statistic office's most recently-available data going back to 2014. This figure is updated only every four years.

Meanwhile the Economic and Social Sciences Institute (WSI) of the Hans Boeckler Foundation published a study Thursday that highlighted major regional differences. For example, the wage gap between women and men in the affluent southern states of Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg was especially large. By contrast, the situation was better in the eastern part of Germany, the WSI said, reporting the results of a survey of 309,000 persons. 

One factor in the regional differences in wage gaps is the industrial structure of the German states. Men often have well-paying technical jobs in industry, of which there were many in the automobile sector in Baden-Wuerttemberg and Bavaria.