BUSINESS Growth of global wages lowest since 2008, China defies trend: ILO


Growth of global wages lowest since 2008, China defies trend: ILO


22:46, November 26, 2018

GENEVA, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- The growth of global wages dropped to its lowest rate last year since 2008, far below levels during the world's financial crisis, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said Monday noting that China defied the trend.



The Global Wage Report 2018/19 released Monday finds that in real terms (adjusted for price inflation) global wage growth declined to 1.8 percent in 2017 from 2.4 percent in 2016.

"We see a worrying trend of global wage growth," ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said at a UN press conference here, observing that the slow wage growth looks likely to continue in 2018.

The report says, "While wages have increased rapidly over the past decade in some countries, most particularly in China, in many other countries average wages remain low and insufficient to adequately cover the needs of workers and their families."

The latest ILO wage report based on data from 136 countries and regions finds global wage growth has been weak while the gender pay gap, at about 20 percent globally, "remains unacceptably high," said the ILO chief.

The report says, "If China, whose large population and rapid wage growth significantly influence the global average, is excluded, global wage growth in real terms fell from 1.8 percent in 2016 to 1.1 percent in 2017."

The report observes more robust growth in average wages in low- and middle-income economies, but with much diversity across countries and regions.

Overall, in low- and middle-income economies, an estimated 50 percent of all wage earners continue to work in the informal economy, either in the informal sector or as informal workers in the formal sector.

Ryder described the "gender pay gap" as "one of the lasting injustices in work", which he said the ILO has been seeking to change since it started in 1919.

The report finds that in advanced G20 countries real wage growth declined from 0.9 percent in 2016 to 0.4 percent in 2017.

By contrast, in emerging and developing G20 countries, real wage growth fluctuated between 4.9 percent in 2016 and 4.3 percent in 2017.

The ILO chief said that such stagnating wages are an obstacle to economic growth and rising living standards and might explain some recent political developments in the world.

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