Collective bargaining coverage continues to decline in Germany

In Germany, fewer and fewer people work in companies with a sectoral collective agreement. There are big differences between the west and the east.

Demonstration for collective agreements in Saxony-Anhalt

Dhe collective bargaining coverage in Germany has continued to decline, according to a new survey. In 2020, 43 percent of employees worked in companies with a sectoral collective agreement, as the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) announced on Wednesday in Nuremberg. In 2019, this value was around 46 percent. “The downward trend continues,” said IAB researcher Susanne Kohaut.

The collective bargaining agreement is significantly higher in the west than in the east, as the data from the IAB Establishment Panel shows, an annual survey of around 16,000 establishments. In around 45 percent of West German and 32 percent of East German companies, industry collective agreements were in effect. In the east, the rate was still 34 percent in 2019.

The company or house collective agreements remained largely constant compared to the previous year: this form of collective bargaining coverage applied to eight percent of the West German and eleven percent of the East German employees. The jobs in 47 percent of West German and 57 percent of East German companies did not have a collective agreement.

The collective bargaining agreement increases with the size of the company, according to the research institution that belongs to the Federal Employment Agency (BA). The proportion of employees who come under a sectoral collective agreement is particularly high in the area of ​​public administration / social security at 80 percent. The proportion in the area of ​​information and communication is particularly low at eleven percent.