The International Labour Organization (ILO) has launched the report “Global Wage Report 2010/11: Wage Policies in Times of Crisis”. Based on official national statistics from 115 countries and territories, the study reveals that the global financial and economic crisis has led to a considerable slowdown in the rate of growth of real wages around the world.
The report estimates that the growth in real average monthly wages declined from 2.8 per cent before the crisis in 2007 to 1.5 per cent in 2008 and 1.6 per cent in 2009. Excluding China from the aggregate, the global average wage drops to 0.8 percent in 2008 and 0.7 percent in 2009.
Among the report’s main findings are that:
• 50 per cent of countries have adjusted their minimum wages.
• For low paid workers, who are especially vulnerable to falling into poverty, there is an urgent need for a better articulation between minimum wages and social and labour market policies.
• Wages are better aligned with productivity in countries where collective bargaining covers more than 30 per cent of employees, and minimum wages reduce inequality in the bottom half of the wage distribution.
• Collective bargaining and minimum wages, along with well-designed income policies, can lift the incomes of workers in the recovery.
The full report is available online.