Statistics on wages

Access to employment for all is a key goal of policymakers around the globe. Employment is indeed a core element of our livelihoods and lives. However, having a job is no guarantee of a decent living: job quality is required as well. Working conditions on the job will determine to a great extent our living conditions.

Remuneration is a crucial aspect of working conditions. Decent work is productive work which provides workers with adequate earnings, ensuring satisfactory living conditions for workers and their families. At the same time, monitoring the evolution of wages and earnings provides insights into the extent to which workers benefit from gains in productivity.

The objective of non-discrimination and equal treatment in employment implies that workers should receive equal pay for work of equal value. Disaggregated data for wages statistics serve to assess the extent to which this is true.

Table of Contents

Featured publication

Global Wage Report 2020/21

Global Wage Report 2020-21: Wages and minimum wages in the time of COVID-19

The 2020-21 edition of the Global Wage Report reviews minimum wage systems across the world and identifies the conditions under which minimum wages can reduce inequality. The report presents comprehensive data on levels of minimum wages, their effectiveness, and the number and characteristics of workers paid at or below the minimum. It highlights how adequate minimum wages, statutory or negotiated, can play a key role in a human-centred recovery from the crisis.


Data

Methods


Indicator description: Earnings and labour cost

Indicator descriptions provide a concise overview of concepts and definitions, uses, sources and limitations.


Global Wage Report 2018/19: What lies behind gender pay gaps

Global Wage Report 2018/19: What lies behind gender pay gaps

The 2018/19 edition analyses the gender pay gap. The report focuses on two main challenges: how to find the most useful means for measurement, and how to break down the gender pay gap in ways that best inform policy-makers and social partners of the factors that underlie it. The report also includes a review of key policy issues regarding wages and the reduction of gender pay gaps in different national circumstances.


Decent Work Indicators: Concepts and definitions

Decent Work Indicators - Guidelines for producers and users of statistical and legal framework indicators

Decent work is central to sustainable poverty reduction and is a means for achieving equitable, inclusive and sustainable development. The ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization recommends the establishment of appropriate indicators to monitor the progress made in the implementation of the ILO Decent Work Agenda. The ILO is supporting member States through technical assistance and capacity building at national, sub-regional and regional levels in this regard.


Sources and Methods Volume 2: Establishment surveys (2012) - Employment, wages, hours of work and labour cost

This volume presents national methodological descriptions of establishment surveys from which statistics of employment, wages, hours of work and labour cost are obtained. It is a revised, enlarged and updated version of the second edition issued in 1995 and contains descriptions for 172 surveys in respect of 84 countries, areas and territories.


Need Help?

Here are the basics to use the data catalogue

Something Still Not Clear?

Feel free to contact us, and we will be more than happy to answer all of your questions.

Use filters above the table

Use the search feature to enter key words. On the data page, you can also filter the database and select a frequency to find monthly, quarterly, or annual indicators. While all indicators are available for annual periods, only a subset are available as monthly or quarterly. 

Options to access data

Data available in the Excel summary files are for indicators only (not available for countries or regions) for selected classification items for 2010 onward for annual data and 2018 onward for short-term indicators. For historical data or additional classifications, either use the Data Explorer or download the CSV file. 

Download a zipped CSV file (gzip) to get data in bulk. These files contain only codes. Download the dictionary with labels here

There are other options to access data in the data tools section

The option provides an intuitive interface to filter the selection, including for all available breakdowns (e.g., sex and age), and export the data into various formats.