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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 ?
Self-employed sales workers who were killed at work were more likely than wage and salary sales workers to be victims of workplace violence.
A total of 242 wage and salary workers died from a fatal occupational injury while employed in this occupation from 1995 to 2001.
The events leading to an occupational fatality were similar in both categories, with homicide the cause of death of 161 self-employed workers and 176 wage and salary workers.
From 1995 to 2001,997 wage and salary workers categorized as "farmworkers, other" (17) lost their lives due to workplace injuries.
Although the disparity in fatalities and fatality rates by industry was largely a result of self-employed workers being employed in occupations (particularly farmers) with higher fatality rates than wage and salary workers in those industries, the variations in fatalities and fatality rates by occupation were attributable primarily to self-employed workers having employment characteristics different from those of wage and salary workers.
The event that led to the occupational fatality illustrates the different risks faced by wage and salary workers compared with self-employed workers in certain occupations.
The data show that self-employed workers were more susceptible than wage and salary workers to workplace death by homicide; by a nonhighway, noncollision accident; (18) by being struck by an object; and by self-inflicted injuries.
Another characteristic that differs between wage and salary workers and self-employed workers is the time spent at work.
2 percent of the private-sector wage and salary workforce was aged 55 and older.
Do self-employed workers have higher fatality rates because they are more likely to be older than wage and salary workers, or do older workers have a higher fatality rate because they are more likely to be self-employed?
Regardless of age, the fatality rate of the self-employed is greater than that of wage and salary workers.
Neither the number of fatalities nor the fatality rate can be used exclusively to pinpoint the impact a particular occupation has on overall fatality rates for the self-employed and for wage and salary workers.