Global Wage Report 2022-2023

The report titled the “Global Wage Report 2022-2023: The Impact of inflation and COVID-19 on wages and purchasing power” was released recently by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

What are the key findings of the report?

  • Global wages declined in 2022 for the first time since the 2008 global financial crisis due to increasing living expenses. This is threatening to worsen inequality and trigger social unrest.
  • Severe inflation crisis and global economic slowdown – caused partly because of the war in Ukraine and global energy crisis – are causing a decline in real monthly wages in many countries.
  • Monthly wages have declined by 0.9 per cent in real terms in the first half of 2022. This is the first negative growth of real global wage in the 21st century.
  • Lower-income countries have especially been hit because of significant loss in wages during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The minimum wages declined in real terms from 2020 to 2022 despite the efforts taken to keep pace with the inflation. The countries that witnessed a fall in minimum wages include Bulgaria, Spain, Sri Lanka, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • The overall wages were lower in real terms in 2022 when compared with 2008 in countries like the UK, Italy, Japan and Mexico.
  • The decline in wages comes despite the increased productivity. The year 2022 recorded the biggest gap between real labour productivity growth and the real wage growth in high-income countries since 1999.
  • Among the advanced G20 countries, the real wages in the first half of 2022 fell to minus 2.2 per cent. Real wages in emerging G20 countries grew by 0.8 per cent, which is 2.6 per cent lesser than in 2019, the year before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out.
  • There is a wide gap between the average level of real wages of the emerging G20 countries and that of the advanced G20 economies.
  • The average wages of advanced G20 countries is 4,000 USD per month and for emerging G20 countries, it is 1,800 per month.

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