The 2010 worldwide hourly compensation cost comparison is finally in. So we can see how the wages stack up between 34 different countries. Not surprisingly many European Countries have higher employment costs than the U.S. because of their massive social programs. This of course makes them less competitive in the world market. Surprisingly, in 2010 the U.K. actually had lower total employment costs than the U.S. Of course when it comes to standard of living, Wages and Social programs are only half of the equation. The other half of course is the cost of living. A low cost of living country doesn’t need the same wages in order to have the same standard of living.
Let’s look at the wage levels in various countries
One of the major components of labor costs in Europe are the high cost of government mandated Social insurance (like Social security). In this chart we can see the total level of benefits paid by each country. We can also see the breakdown between Social Insurance and Directly paid benefits like leave time, bonuses and payments in kind.
Notable by their absence are the countries of China and India. The data was a incomplete for these two countries so they were tracked separately.
The full data release is available from the US bureau of Labor Statistics
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