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Percentage of people receiving very low wages up by 43% since 1995

The Institut Arbeit und Qualifikation (IAQ) at the Duisburg-Essen University complains about the fact that the percentage of people working for minimum wages has increased by about 43% since 1995. 6.5 million people (22% of all employees) had worked for too little money in the year 2006. This was revealed in the course of studies carried out among 12.000 private households in Germany.

According to international standards, very low wages are wages which amount to less than two thirds of the average hourly wages in Germany. In 2006 this bench mark was 9.61 Euros in the west and 6.81 Euros in the east of Germany.

According to the study, in 2006 people receiving very low wages on average earned 7.12 Euros in the west and 5.43 Euros in the east of Germany which was slightly less than in 2005. Part time and so-called mini jobs account for almost 54% of all such badly paid jobs. The expert of the above-mentioned institute lament that the share of people receiving very low wages has almost doubled from 15 to 29.7% in the period from 1995 to 2006.

A comparison with other countries involved in the IAQ study (Denmark, France, the Netherlands) also showed that Germany has the biggest share of people working for very low wages in continental Europe. Another finding is that many Germans working for such low wages are not poorly qualified. About three quarters of all these people completed professional training or even have a university degree.

The study is available for download from the internet. GERMAN