More than 30 years after reunification, there are still large differences in wages between east and west – also in relation to gender: statistically speaking, women with full-time jobs earn more in the east than men and in the west it is exactly the opposite, as the Federal Employment Agency ( BA) announced over the weekend.

On the occasion of the upcoming Day of German Unity, the authority published data on the so-called median wages: half of the employees earn more than this value, the other half is below it.

"Overall, the median wages in eastern Germany are still well below those in the west," explained the BA.

"The general trend is that the differences are diminishing, albeit slowly."

male-dominated industry

According to the latest available figures, the median salary for full-time employees subject to social security contributions in East Germany is 3,007 euros.

At 3060 euros, women earn an average of 82 euros more than men (2978 euros).

"However, the higher median of full-time employed women is limited by the high part-time quota of women throughout Germany," emphasized the BA.

Almost half of East German women work part-time.

In the West, on the other hand, full-time employed men are in the lead when it comes to median wages, and they do so very clearly: they earn an average of EUR 3,787, EUR 461 more than women.

"The different median salaries of men and women in the two large parts of the country are due to the respective industry structures," explained the BA.

In the old federal states there are many more large companies "in male-dominated sectors with corresponding wage structures".

The authority cited the manufacturing sector as an example.

In contrast, in eastern Germany the proportion of women in sectors with collective wages is relatively high.

Examples include public administration and health care.