Staff shortages are forcing up pay rates, average July rise was 2.3%

The shortage of staff in some key sectors is forcing up pay rates, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Wednesday.

The average pay rise agreed in the 20 new pay and conditions deals sealed in July was 2.3%, and that is the biggest rise so far this year, the FD said.

The figures come from employers organisation AWVN which monitors pay movement and advises employers in their negotiations. A spokesman said that the rise shows the shift towards higher pay first noted earlier in the year is continuing.

Some sectors in particular have been hit by a shortage of personnel, including rail operator ProRail which warned earlier that services may be cut because of the lack of staff. Airline Transavia has also been using ground crew as baggage handlers to cope with the shortfall.

The hospitality industry has also been hard hit, as people let go during the lockdown moved into new jobs.

On average, pay rates have risen 1.9% this year, which is still below the 2.3% recorded over 2020. But the AWVN sees the upward trend continuing. It points out that in two year deal for the light engineering sector includes a rise of 2.6%, and covers 160,000 workers.

‘The industry has a serious shortage of workers, we have to produce more within Europe and the economy is doing better than before the pandemic,’ Theo Henrar of the light engineering union FME told the paper.

‘Employers have to be realistic. If inflation goes up to 2%, you must at least compensate for that.’

Inflation is currently 1.4% in the Netherlands but economists expect it to rise to 2% before the end of the year.

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