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Encyclopedia > Wages

A wage is the amount of money paid for some specified quantity of labour. When expressed with respect to time (usually per hour), it is typically called the wage rate, and is specified in pre-tax amounts. It is often the main monetary item upon which the worker and the employer focus when negotiating an employment contract.

Early forms of wages included salt (from which the word salary is derived). In modern English, the word salary tends to be used when referring to employment in which the employee is not paid by the hour.

Depending on the structure and traditions of different economies around the world, wage rates are either primarily market-driven (the USA) or influenced by other factors such as tradition, social structure and seniority, as in Japan.

In the United States, as of 2004, the prevailing wage rate for manual labour might range from $10 up to $70 per-hour, depending on the type of work and its location.

Several countries have enacted a statutory minimum wage rate in an attempt to prevent the supposed exploitation of low-paid workers.

See also

  Results from FactBites:
City of Toronto: Fair Wage Office, Fair wage policy (0 words)
Establishing fair wage rates and schedules are intended to minimize potential conflicts between organized and unorganized labour in the tendering and awarding of civic contracts.
The Fair Wage Office will have the authority to request any information respecting wages of workers, names of workers, records of amounts paid to each, paysheets, original books, etc. that may be desired by the Manager in connection with a contract that has been substantially completed within the past six months.
In case of a jurisdictional dispute or dispute as to rate of wages to be paid under the contract or as to the amount to be paid to any worker, the decision of the Manager, Fair Wage Office, shall be final and binding upon all parties.
National Average Wage Index (0 words)
To determine the national average wage index for calendar year 2005, we increased the 2004 national average wage index of 35,648.55 by the percentage increase in average wages from 2004 to 2005, as measured by annual wage data tabulated by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
The average amounts of wages calculated directly from the SSA data were $34,197.63 and $35,448.93 for 2004 and 2005, respectively.
To determine the national average wage index for 2005 at a level that is consistent with the national average wage indexing series for prior years, we multiply the 2004 national average wage index of 35,648.55 by the percentage increase in average wages from 2004 to 2005 (based on SSA-tabulated wage data).
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