Adjusted for negative annual inflation of 0.7 percent, salaries actually rose 1.5 percent in 2012, the Federal Statistical Office reports.
The nominal increase in 2011 was higher, at 1.0 percent, but last year saw the first increase in real wages since 2009.
Employees in almost all branches of industry saw their wages grow. The biggest increases were in the hotel and hospitality sector, where they rose an average 2.4 percent.
The Statistical Office said this was mainly due to an increase in minimum wages and in more workers receiving a 13th month’s wage.
Chemicals and pharmaceuticals and the machine industry also contributed to the overall wage jump. These key export sectors benefited from an improvement in the international economic situation.
An increase of just 0.7 percent in the financial and insurance service sectors reflected continuing insecurity following the 2008 crisis, the government office said.
A separate report by the economic forecaster KOF showed more firms were considering taking on new staff, Tages-Anzeiger reported.
The KOF employment indicator showed a 0.5 percent increase in April. Employment is forecast to grow in the second quarter for the first time since the second quarter of last year.