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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 ?
The minimum wage level for foreign domestics has been frozen since 1999 when the monthly pay was cut to the current level from HK$3,860.
Seventeen states, plus the District of Columbia, currently have minimum wage levels above $5.
The minimum wage level in Jakarta, where the cost of living is one of the highest in the country, covers only 81.
Let W represent the wage level, X represent worker and job characteristics known to affect wages, such as education or experience, and let R represent the riskiness of a job.
Rather than imposing ever-increasing minimum wage levels on small businesses, the government should appoint agents who can discuss with business owners what they can sensibly afford without endangering their business.
Duffy said: 'Experienced players are hard to get, first and foremost due to the wage levels they expect compared to what in reality wecan offer.
There has never been any mention of a `recruitment crisis' in the Fire Service, so many are clearly willing to take employment at the present wage levels.
About half the respondents said their wage levels were low and 30% expressed concerns that their employment situations are unstable.
JAGUAR, Rolls-Royce and the Rover Group are among 90 firms which have pledged to pay younger workers the same minimum wage levels as older staff.
NIKE SHEDS INDONESIAN PLANTS: Nike announced it is cutting ties with four Indonesian companies Monday, saying they refused to comply with its standards for wage levels and working conditions.
Wage levels and leisure time determine prosperity - but more leisure time leads to greater prosperity only when wages reach an adequate level.
AFTER the debacle of disgraceful wage levels to absent employees and stupid payments to non-attending councillors, our amazing city leaders (joke) have excelled themselves yet again by employing a shamed headmaster in the Directorate of Children, Young People and Families.