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WageIndicator Gazette 21 - April 2009

Euroccupations to standardize 1500 occupations across borders ** WageIndicator launch in the Czech Republic ** Purchase Power Parities for cross country comparison in Latin America ** No progress in reducing gender pay gap ** Earnings of German bank clerks just before the crisis **Elderly workers in the Netherlands feel wanted

Euroccupations to standardize 1500 occupations across borders ** WageIndicator launch in the Czech Republic ** Purchase Power Parities for cross country comparison in Latin America ** No progress in reducing gender pay gap ** Earnings of German bank clerks just before the crisis **Elderly workers in the Netherlands feel wanted

 

Euroccupations to standardize 1500 occupations across borders
At its concluding conference (Louvain, Brussels 23/24 April) after 3 years the Euroccupations project presented a list of 1,500 occupations for future perfection in terms of cross country comparability. The project aim to produce a practical list of the most current occupations in the EU has thereby been reached. The list covers the whole labour market in a fairly representative manner. Also 150 occupations have been described in greater detail for future reference, based on contributions from the 9 participating countries. The Euroccupations project thus has made two important steps forward on the way to increasing standardization of occupational descriptions, facilitating international comparative research. See www.euroccupations.org


WageIndicator launch in the Czech Republic, Slovakia to follow shortly
9,000 completed surveys were volunteered in the first 2 months in the Czech survey, from its launch on March 1rst. The regional team from Mujplat.cz, ascribes this early success to a large extent to cooperation with the national job portal JobDNES.cz . It is still discussing a similar quick start with a potential counterpart in Slovakia. 

 
Purchase Power Parities for cross country comparison in Latin America
Researcher Bruno Perinelli of Belgrano University in Buenos Aires and the Elsalario.com.ar – team has applied Purchase Power Parities (PPP) for meaningful comparison of 5 occupations between 4 Latin American countries. These countries are Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico. Introducing PPP’s is the way out when currencies are unstable, inflation is rampant and exchange rates change by the day. The occupations compared were accountants, IT systems analysts, personnel administrators, sales representatives and college lecturers. 

Some highlights: 

  • 1. in Brazil lecturers get up to 123 per cent more than in the other nations. 
  • 2. Argentine saleswomen obtain higher incomes than their colleagues from Brazil, Mexico and Chile, but salesmen don’t. 
  • 3. if you wanted a career as personnel administrator or IT systems analyst, Chile is the country to start, it rewards you best. 
  • 4. in Argentina work experience is highly rewarded, especially in accountancy (a head start and widening the gap with the neighbours over the years) and in IT, where the high Chilean starting wages are overtaken after 15 years of working experience. 
  • 5. Whatever the occupation (almost) all show considerable gender pay gaps in all 4 countries, with the notable exception of female Mexican IT-specialists and Argentine saleswomen who earn more than their male colleagues. See the full report 


No progress in reducing gender pay gap
The average gender pay gap in almost all of 20 countries covered by WageIndicator in a new ITUC-report, is 22.4 per cent. These 20 countries include the major economies of the world (apart from Japan and China), as well as developed and developing countries. In 2008 – based on 12 countries with national WageIndicator surveys - gender pay gaps in the range of 13 to 23 per cent were reported. 

This means that over the past year no progress has been made, notwithstanding many efforts to reduce the pay gap between men and women, with comparable qualifications performing the same work. The 2009 report moreover shows that the gender pay gap widens with age in all countries covered. See full report
 

Earnings of German bank clerks just before the crisis
Till just before the financial crisis German bank clerks presented a picture of well being and stability. These are people who, after finishing school, followed a 3-year banking course to master the trade. Only one in seven has an academic degree. According to the Lohnspiegel-respondents in this sector (data came in from 2005 till the middle of 2008) the great majority had fixed contracts, fell under collective agreements and gradually earned more as their working experience increased with the years. On average they made approx. € 3,500 gross per month.

Like at the top in this branch of industry, also amongst the rank and file bonuses were an important part of their income: on average just over 30 per cent, ranking 3rd amongst 12 selected occupational groups, only surpassed by engineers and it-consultants. Two out of three respondents said that over the last year they had to put in more hours. Half of them were compensated with free time, only a few got a higher reward for the extra hours. Although pretty satisfied with their work, nevertheless an over-average of mental stress was reported: 3.4 on a scale of 1-5. Job (in)security amongst German bank clerks ranged widely: a quarter felt insecure, a quarter not at all. The other half wavered. This roughly outlines the picture just before the financial crisis broke out. See full report
 

Elderly workers in the Netherlands feel wanted
Good news for countries with a rapidly aging work force: Dutch workers over 50 don’t feel discriminated against by their employers vis-à-vis their younger colleagues. They think they deserve their earnings, they are offered training opportunities like everybody else – they feel. And they feel (almost) just as wanted by their boss than younger employees: 6 out of 10 against an average of 7 out of 10. They know however to be less productive, slower, more often on sick leave or on holiday than their younger colleagues. The younger employees add to this picture that their elder colleagues are slower and given physically easier tasks. But they don’t seem to mind so much. This outcome of a recent WageIndicator survey of 12,000 means that it should not be too difficult to promote elderly workers’ continued participation in the economy till the age of 65.

Contrary however to the well established collective practice that earnings increase with age, half of the elderly Dutch workers hold that they don’t earn more than their younger colleagues.  See the full report 

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