Falling Real Wages

Economic crisis is reducing real wage for the second year in running according to an ILO report.

[Quoting press release] Global growth in real wages slowed dramatically in 2008 as a result of the economic crisis and is expected to drop even further this year despite signs of a possible economic recovery, the International Labour Organization said.

“The continued deterioration of real wages worldwide raises serious questions about the true extent of an economic recovery, especially if government rescue packages are phased out too early. Wage deflation deprives national economies of much needed demand and seriously affects confidence”, said Manuela Tomei, Director, ILO Conditions of Work and Employment Programme and lead author of the study.

….The update of the Global Wage Report says “the picture on wages is likely to get worse in 2009” regardless of other economic indicators suggesting an economic rebound. The report notes that in half of the 35 countries for which figures are available, real monthly wages fell in the first quarter of 2009 compared to their average of 2008, often due to cuts in hours worked.