Text from the Indicator Report 2022
The indicator presented here shows the unadjusted gender pay gap (GPG). Therefore, it only expresses the relative average gross hourly earnings as a ratio without considering the underlying causes, such as qualification, occupation or a different employment history.
The data for the indicator is based on the four-yearly structure of earnings survey conducted by the statistical offices of the Länder as a representative sample survey covering a maximum of 60,000 businesses who are obliged to provide the requested information. Based on these data, results are provided by age, educational attainment, performance group, activity, collective agreement, company size class and economic sector, and the adjusted GPG is published. For the interim years, the unadjusted GPG is updated using the rates of change from the quarterly survey of earnings. In the following, the EU definition is used for the adjusted and unadjusted GPG; it excludes employees in “agriculture, forestry and fishing”, “public administration and defence; compulsory social security” and in micro-enterprises.
In 2020 and 2021, the unadjusted GPG was 18 % on average. The goal to reduce the unadjusted GPG to 10 % by 2020 was missed. Hence, if the trend recorded over the last five years continues, the goal set for 2030 will not be achieved.
The unadjusted GPG is slowly but steadily declining for Germany long-term. The value in 2012 was 23 % and, thus, 5 percentage points above the value in 2021. The unadjusted GPG varied markedly between the Länder: in 2021, the GPG was highest in Baden-Württemberg and Bremen with 22 %, while being at 5 % for Brandenburg, Mecklenburg Western Pomerania and Thuringia.
Investigations into the causal factors behind the GPG can be conducted every four years on the basis of the detailed results of the structure of earnings survey. The latest available findings date from 2018. The factors that determine pay differentials are subject to long-term evolution processes and are therefore fairly stable over the course of time. The findings show that structural causes account for 71 % of the GPG, in other words the differences are partly due to the fact that women often work in sectors and occupations where pay rates are low, and they more rarely attain managerial positions. They are also more likely than men to work part-time or to have mini-jobs.
The remaining 29 % of the pay differential corresponds to the adjusted GPG of 6 % in 2018. Compared with the unadjusted GPG, the adjusted GPG figure is considerably more uniform across the Länder. In 2018, the adjusted gap ranged from 4 % in Berlin to 7 % in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Bremen, Hamburg and Saxony.
Comparative data for the European Union with mostly provisional results is available until 2020. From 2010 on, the unadjusted GPG in Germany lay considerably above the provisional European Union average. Of the 25 EU states in 2020, only Latvia, with 22 %, Estonia, with 21 %, and Austria, with 19 %, had a higher GPG. The countries with the lowest gender differentials in gross hourly pay were Luxembourg, with 1 %, Romania, with 2 %, and Slovenia, with 3 %.