Gross wages for full-time employees rose by 5.5% between January 2021 and 2022 in Belgium, according to HR provider Securex.
The increase in gross wages for white-collar workers was higher (+7%) than for blue-collar workers (+2.3%), Belga News Agency reports.
Wage costs also increased during this period, by 6.7% for employees and 2% for workers.
“For employees, an additional indexation will soon arrive, but we expect especially strong increases for manual workers,” said Securex expert Els Vanderhaegen.
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“Not all sectors have had an indexation in January and in some sectors additional indexations are still to come. Gross wages will also rise again as the application of temporary unemployment is reduced.”
However, inflation continues to rise along with wages. The Belgian inflation rate surpassed 8% at the end of February, with energy inflation accounting for the majority. If wages do not keep up with inflation rates, they are actually dropping rather than increasing.
Average earnings for white-collar employees rise more
According to Securex, this means that on average a white-collar employee earns €3,757 gross and a worker €2,480 gross (excluding bonuses) in January 2022.
While the gross wages paid to employees in January 2021 were still roughly the same as in January 2020, they increased by 7% in January this year compared to the same month last year.
Workers who were paid 7.3% less gross in January 2021 than in January 2020 saw their gross pay increase by 2.3% in January 2022, which is still 4.8% lower than in January 2020.
Because of temporary unemployment measures, the gross wages paid to workers are still lower than in January 2020, Vanderhaegen said.