Dutch salaries saw record growth in 2022, but it still wasn't enough

Dutch salaries saw record growth in 2022, but it still wasn't enough

With an average increase of 3,2 percent recorded in 2022, salaries in the Netherlands have experienced their sharpest rise since 2008 - but this increase still isn’t enough to keep up with the rising cost of living and high rate of inflation

Cao salaries rise by 3,2 percent in 2022

According to figures published by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), last year salaries agreed upon in collective labour agreements (cao) rose by an average of 3,2 percent compared to 2021. Those with jobs in education benefitted from the largest increase (5,2 percent), while those working in agriculture and the fishing industry saw the smallest (2 percent). 

While this overall average means that workers represented by a cao have benefitted from the most significant salary increases seen in the Netherlands in 14 years, the inflation rate of 10 percent means the overall purchasing power of these workers fell by an average of 6,2 percent - the largest discrepancy between salary increases and inflation seen by the CBS since records began in 1973. 

Unions and banks say employers in the Netherlands need to do more

Dutch labour unions argue that employers need to do more to increase the salaries of their workers, and the Dutch national bank agrees, reasoning that many businesses make enough profit in order to provide larger raises. However, employers’ association AWVN has previously said it would be unrealistic for companies to increase salaries in line with inflation

Furthermore, while these historic increases in salaries have benefitted some workers, many who aren’t members of a union and therefore don’t benefit from collective labour agreements are yet to see their salaries rise.

Thumb: Robert Hoetink via

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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