Pandemic causes decrease in average wages

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has issued it’s bi-annual Global Wage Report which found that monthly wages fell or grew more slowly in the first six months of 2020.  This is obviously due to the impact of COVID, and in countries where strong measures were taken to preserve employment the effects of the crisis were felt primarily as decreasing wages rather than massive job losses.

Average wages appeared to increase in one-third of the countries that provided data to ILO, however this was largely as a result of substantial numbers of lower-paid workers losing their jobs and therefore skewing the average.

The report also shows that the wages of women and low-paid workers have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.  Estimates based on a sample of 28 European countries find that, without wage subsidies, women would have lost 8.1 per cent of their wages in the second quarter of 2020, compared to 5.4 per cent for men.

The crisis has also affected lower-paid workers severely. Those in lower-skilled occupations lost more working hours than higher-paying managerial and professional jobs. Using data from the group of 28 European countries the report shows that, without temporary subsidies, the lowest paid 50 per cent of workers would have lost an estimated 17.3 per cent of their wages.

You can read the ILO report here.

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