Underpaid workers damaging to Netherlands economy, says central bank

Wage increases for Dutch employees was lower than was economically justified last year, according to a study by Dutch central bank DNB. The low salary increases put workers' purchasing power under pressure, which is damaging to the Netherlands' economy, the Telegraaf reports.

In the labor income ratio - the share that workers receive as wages from the total earnings in the Netherlands - the wages share in the Netherlands is very low in relation to business profits, according to DNB. 73.5 percent of the total earnings consists of wages.

That is much lower than the between 80 and 90 percent of previous years. Previous calculations for last year also came out higher, at 78 percent. According to DNB, this is because the remuneration for freelancers and self-employed is systematically overestimated in traditional calculation methods.

These conclusions seamlessly fit with numerous economists calls to increase wages in the Netherlands significantly, according to the newspaper. It also gives trade unions more room to raise their demands.