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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 ?
If hospital hourly wages were adjusted to reduce or exclude the effects of occupation mix, the range from the lowest to the highest hospital-level PPS hourly wage would be smaller, and the range from the lowest to highest wage index value would also be smaller.
According to the Minister, who still favors the minimum monthly wage as well, the hourly wage will provide more flexibility of the labor market.
On average, part-timers also receive hourly wages well below the pay of their full-time counterparts.
3 million--600,000 fewer than the number whose reported hourly wages were at or below this level.
But the fact is that 13 of 46 job positions in Business & Legal Reports' 2005 Survey of Nonexempt Compensation experienced at least a marginal decrease in hourly wages.
Along with income, the salary and hourly wages of men and women were used in the report, Reed said.
Unlike the usual practice, both lump sums will be combined with hourly wages in calculating pension benefits and payments into the workers' deferred savings plan.
Fitness instructors affiliated with wellness and recreation programs in corporations, colleges and hospitals continue to demonstrate a steady increase in hourly wages as well as in hours worked, although they still work part-time primarily;
If hourly wages have increased nine cents, that is great news,'' Reich said.