Friday, March 30, 2012

Comparing Wages

There’s this great article on the Beeb yesterday:

Where are you on the global pay scale?

If there were no rich and poor, and everyone had an equal share of the world's total pay packet, how much would they earn?

The total value of world income is closing in on $70 trillion (£43.9tn) per year, and there are seven billion people in the world, so the average income is heading towards $10,000 (£6,273) per person per year. Easy.

But not everyone has a job and some of those seven billion are children. So another question you could ask is: "What is the world's average wage?"

That is more tricky to answer, but a group of economists at the United Nations' International Labour Organization (ILO) has had a go, though they have never gone public with this information. Until now.

What follows is a discussion that highlights the problems inherent to international comparisons of data, and how sparse some of the data actually is.

But the best and most fun part of this article is an online wage comparison tool which also includes data on Malaysian wages – hit this link to try it out!


  1. MSIA avg wage in LCU is 2000 based on that BBC data.Thats for 2009 . .with 11.7 mil workers n GNI of 670 bil : The CE/GNI is 43% which is a huge improvement frm 2005 of 28%(based on DOS paper).So what are the structural changes that improved the share of wages?With minimum wage. .we will be at 46%. .that looks pretty fair.

  2. Bear in mind, we're looking at PPP adjusted wages, and not necessarily in nominal local currency terms. On that basis, the nominal average wage should be lower.

  3. The PPP avg wage is usd 948. .the RM2000 is 2009 pretax wages