THE International Labor Organization (ILO) has found that global wage growth declined to its lowest level in almost 10 years despite rapid economic growth.
ILO said in its Global Wage Report 2018/19: “Global wage growth in 2017 was not only lower than in 2016, but fell to its lowest growth rate since 2008, remaining far below the levels obtaining before the global financial crisis. Global wage growth in real terms (that is, adjusted for price inflation) has declined from 2.4% in 2016 to just 1.8% in 2017.”
“The slowdown in wage growth in 2017 occurred in spite of more rapid economic growth,” the report added.
ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said in a statement earlier this week: “Such stagnating wages are an obstacle to economic growth and rising living standards. Countries should explore, with their social partners, ways to achieve socially and economically sustainable wage growth.”
Despite the decline globally, Asia and the Pacific registered one of the highest real wage growth rates among all the regions in the study. The ILO said that the region’s real wage growth last year fell to 3.5% from 4.8%, driven by wage growth in China, India,Thailand, and Vietnam.
Regions that experienced a decline in real wage growth were Africa (minus 3% from minus 1.3%); Northern, Southern and Western Europe (0% from 1.3%), and Central and Western Asia (0.5% from 3.0%).
Regions that experienced growth between 2016 to 2017 were Latin America and the Caribbean (0.7% from 0.1%); North America (0.7% from 0.6%); and the Arab States (3.4% from 2.8%). Eastern Europe was the only other region which experienced growth of more than 1% at 5.0% in 2017 from 2.8% a year earlier.
In the Philippines, the average real wage growth from 2008 to 2017 was 1.0%, lagging the regional median for Southeast Asia of 4.0%. Between 2000 and 2017, annual average real wage growth in the Philippines from 2000 to 2017 was 4.6%.
According to the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC), the real minimum wage for workers in the private sector of Metro Manila was P473.61. NWPC also reported that for other regions, the real minimum wage as of October was between P221.69 and P340.14. — Gillian M. Cortez