Workers in developed nations see wages fall

Workers in developed nations see wages fall

A sluggish global economy hit world wage growth hard last year, taking an especially harsh toll on workers in developed countries, who saw their salaries shrink, the International Labour Organisation said .

"The global crisis has had significant negative repercussions for labour markets in many parts of the world," said ILO director general Guy Ryder.

In its Global Wage Report, the UN's labour agency said that monthly average wages adjusted for inflation grew globally just 1.2 per cent last year, down from 2.1 per cent in 2010 and 3 per cent in 2007.

It added that if China - a country where wages roughly tripled over the past decade - was omitted from the equation, global wages grew just 0.2 per cent last year from 1.3 per cent in 2010 and 2.3 per cent in 2007.

Developed countries, many of them suffering from the eurozone debt crisis, had been especially hard-hit with average salaries slipping 0.5 per cent in 2011 compared to the year before, the report said.

Mr Ryder pointed out to reporters in Geneva that in developed economies, the crisis led to a "double dip" in wages, with average salaries falling into the red first in 2008 and again last year.

"And the trend seems to be for zero growth in 2012," he said.

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