Above-average pay in export sectors
The traditional German export sectors pay their employees above-average wages and salaries. The top right-hand quadrant of the chart shows those sectors that generated a foreign trade surplus in 2016 and also paid their employees gross wages and salaries above the average for the manufacturing sector as a whole. In the automotive industry alone, the foreign trade surplus in 2016 was EUR 122 billion (39% of the total surplus). Wages and salaries in this sector were 27% higher than the industry mean. Mechanical engineering took second place in terms of foreign trade surplus (2016: EUR 94 billion). Here, however, average wages and salaries are only 7% above average. The chemical and pharmaceutical sectors as well as the other transport equipment sector are also characterised by high foreign trade surpluses and above-average pay. Interestingly, growth in gross wages and salaries between 2005 and 2016 was also above the industry average in all of the sectors specified. Gross wages and salaries per employee in the automotive industry and in other transport equipment increased by 38% and 39% respectively during this period, for example. The manufacturing industry as a whole experienced "only" a 28% increase.

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