Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Some International Minimum Wage Comparisons

The Global Wage Report 2012/13 from the International Labour Organization has this useful figure comparing minimum wages across high-income countries.

The horizontal axis shows the minimum wage as a percentage of the median wage for the country. By this measure, the U.S. minimum wage ranks among the lowest in the world at less than 40% of the median wage, although comparable to Japan and Spain. France and New Zealand have a minimum wage that is about 60% of the median wage.

The vertical axis shows the minimum wage converted to dollars (using the purchasing power parity exchange rate). By this measure, the U.S. minimum wage is middle-of-the-pack, above Japan and similar to Canada, although well below the United Kingdom, France, Australia, and Netherlands.

For a post on how the minimum wage affects employment and prices, see my February 2013 post on "Minimum Wage and the Law of Many Margins."  For a post on proposals to raise the minimum wage, see my November 2012 post on "Minimum Wage to $9.50? $9.80? $10?"