According to a report published by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), India witnessed the highest growth in average real wages between 2008-17, as reported by The New Indian Express.
Real wages are arrived at by deducting inflation from nominal wages (the amount of wage paid by the employer).
The report noted that countries like India, China and Vietnam witnessed some of the highest improvement in labour wages in the last ten years and the countries of the Asia-Pacific region outperformed those in other regions on this parameter. The report titled ‘Global Wage Report 2018/19’, said that while India recorded a 5.5 point score, the average for South Asia was 3.7.
With wages in developing nations increasing faster than in the developed nations, the report speaks of convergence in wages between the two. However, it cautioned, “That sounds like good news, because we all want to see convergence around the world…But let's not exaggerate, because the gaps are still very, very big. Very often the level of wages is still not high enough for people to meet their basic needs.”
Another ILO study noted that 41 per cent of Indian felt that they were poorly paid and over 31 per cent of India workers were employed in hazardous working conditions. The report, commenting on weak social security measures in India, stated, “The range of persons with social protection coverage among the countries runs from a high of 72 per cent in Mongolia to 19 per cent in India, with most countries falling near the lower end of the scale. Challenges to universal coverage in the region relate to the high prevalence of informal employment among some countries.”
Also Read: Why Minimum Wages Are Bad For The Economy