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An amount of money paid each hour to compensate an employee for the amount of time he/she spends working. Wages are paid for both skilled and unskilled labor. For example, one may pay an employee $8 per hour for working at a fast food restaurant or $45 per hour for highly trained work at a car factory. What distinguishes wages from salaries is the fact that wages are only paid for the hours worked; an employee is paid more if he works for more hours. Salaries, on the other hand, are the same whether one works five hours or 50. See also: Overtime, Minimum Wage.


the money payment made to a worker, usually on a weekly basis, for the use of his or her labour. A worker's basic wage will depend on the hourly WAGE RATE and the number of hours worked. The latter is usually related to the number of hours specified as constituting the ‘basic'working week, but in some cases workers may be given a GUARANTEED BASIC WAGE to protect them against loss of earnings due to short-time working, and in other cases workers may be able to add to their basic wage by OVERTIME earnings. In addition to PAYMENT BY TIME, workers may be paid in proportion to their output under a PAYMENT BY RESULTS scheme. See PAY, MEASURED DAY WORK.


the PAY made to an employee for the use of his or her LABOUR as a FACTOR OF PRODUCTION. Wages are usually paid on a weekly basis, and they depend on the hourly WAGE RATE and the number of hours that constitute the basic working week. In addition, employees can add to their basic wage by working OVERTIME.

As an alternative to workers being paid on the basis of hours worked (a ‘payment by time’ system), employees may be paid in proportion to their output (a ‘payment by results’ system).

In aggregate terms, wages are a source of income and are included as a part of NATIONAL INCOME. See SALARY, NATIONAL INCOME ACCOUNTS.

References in periodicals archive ?
Taking a regional view, Sydney provided nine out of Australia's top ten regions for the highest average wage and salary income.
Table 2 presents measures of the range, dispersion, bias, relative dispersion, and relative bias of the revisions between the preliminary and the final estimates of quarterly total personal income, nonfarm personal income, and wage and salary disbursements for 1980-87.
All four coastal regions had above-average wage and salary growth for 1980-87.
All four interior regions had below-average wage and salary growth for 1980-87.
Table 1 shows workplace fatalities from 1995 to 2001 (12) for self-employed workers and wage and salary workers in the private sector.
With that in mind, it is important to determine whether being a self-employed worker means that one is more likely to work in certain industries than if one were a wage and salary worker.
Most self-employed and wage and salary workers work in service-producing industries, where, with a few notable exceptions such as transportation industries, the risk of fatal injury is relatively low for both.
About half of all self-employed and wage and salary workers held a white-collar job either within the broad occupational grouping of "managerial and professional specialty" or the classification, "technical, sales, and administrative support.
For the national wage and salary estimates, the fourth quarter 1987 estimate was adjusted to include an extra payment; the quarters of 1988 and 1989 were not adjusted because it was assumed that bonus payments in those years had returned to a normal size and pattern.
It should be noted that the CPS union membership data covered only employed wage and salary workers, not union members who were self-employed, unemployed, retired, laid off, or who, for other reasons, were not wage and salary employees.
Although these three groups accounted for three-fourths of union membership, they employed only 44 percent of the Nation's wage and salary workers.
Our salary structure analyses have been in use since 1974; the PC software to extract competitive wage and salary rates since 1987; and our COL analyses since 1989.