With all the talk these days about whether or not the minimum wage in the U.S. needs to be increased, I thought I would show the minimum wage for a sampling of other countries. I doubt that if workers at McDonald's saw this they would feel better about what they are paid as "newbies", but it might be interesting for those of us in Compensation.
I’ve selected 3 countries each from Europe and Asia, and 2 each from South America, the Middle East and Africa.
Taken as is, these wages seem shockingly low. We’ve also heard about people in some countries living on US$2 per day. These numbers upset people who think workers that are paid these low wages are living in abject poverty. Unfortunately all of it is taken out of context.
I’ve provided average monthly middle class pay for a few countries and this provides a little more context. These wages may make people seem poor by the standards of Europe or the U.S. but they are middle class in their own countries.
Compensation professionals who work for global companies should be well aware of this issue as they will likely be the ones to explain it to management. And hiring managers need to be assured that their employees throughout the world are being paid appropriately in their own country.
This subject is a “hot button” of mine, and I try to explain it to people when it comes up in conversation. I hope you will do the same.
Jacque Vilet, President of Vilet International, has over 20 years’ experience in Global Human Resources with major multinationals such as Intel, National Semiconductor and Seagate Technology. She has managed both local/ in-country national and expatriate programs and has been an expat twice during her career. Her true love is working with local national issues. Jacque has the following certifications: CCP, GPHR, HCS and SWP as well as a B.S. and M.S in Psychology and an MBA. She belongs to SHRM, Human Capital Institute and World at Work. Jacque been a speaker in the U.S., Asia and Europe, and is a regular contributor to various HR and talent management publications.