[OPE-L:1525] Re: Re: Wages

Jurriaan Bendien (djjb99@worldonline.nl)
Fri, 22 Oct 1999 01:39:53 +0100

Hi Patrick

Can't tell you much about the calculation of the index, I'm afraid. I only
clipped it out of a Dutch newspaper one day. My understanding is that it
referred to average annual gross wages + employer contributions, i.e. the
total cost of hiring a worker by the employer. You could contact the
Institute in Cologne though for further information, they have a website
and an information service.

In another issue (NRC Handelsblad 28 October 1995) I found the average
labour costs for an employee in industry, in guilders per hour worked for
1994, excluding and including employer contributions (social security
payments etc.) in respect of employees (based on figures by the Swedish
Employers Federation):

Country Gross hourly wage (Dfl.) Total hourly labour cost (Dfl.)
West Germany 37.75 49.75
Switzerland 37.50 45.25
Belgium 30.25 41.75
Japan 33.50 38.75
Netherlands 29.00 37.75
Sweden 24.75 34.25
United States 23.50 31.00
Italy 20.25 29.50
United Kingdom 20.75 24.75

As you can see the pattern is not very different, e.g. Dutch workers earn
more on average per hour and employer contributions are higher than in the
USA. American hourly wages in industry are on average below industrial
wages in Northern Europe. (Also, American workers have less holidays).

In solidarity


At 06:29 PM 10/21/99 -0400, you wrote:
>Please say a bit more about this index. Is this cost per unit of domestic
>output? How is index calculated? Is the US ranked 13th with an index of 80
>because the productivity of American workers is very high or because
>American workers simply recieve very low wages?
>Thanks, patrick l mason

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