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A wage is a form of remuneration paid by an employer to an employee calculated on some piece or unit basis. Compensation in terms of wages is given to workers and compensation in terms of salary is given to employees. Compensation is a monetary benefit given to employees in return for the services provided by them.[citation needed]

Determinants of wage ratesEdit

Depending on the structure and traditions of different economies around the world, wage rates are either the product of market forces (supply and demand), as is common in the United States, or wage rates may be influenced by other factors such as tradition, social structure and seniority, as in Japan.[1]

Wage DiscriminationEdit

Even in countries relying primarily on market force to set wage rates, studies show that there are still differences in remuneration for work based on sex and race. For example, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2007 women of all races made approximately 80% of the median wage of their male counterparts. Similarly, white men made about 84% the wage of Asian men, and black men 64%.[2]

Wages in the United StatesEdit

File:US Real Wages 1964-2004.gif
Historical graph of real wages in the US from 1964 to 2005.

In the United States, wages for most workers are set by market forces, or else by collective bargaining, where a labor union negotiates on the workers' behalf. The Fair Labor Standards Act establishes a minimum wage at the federal level that all states must abide by, among other provisions. Fourteen states and a number of cities have set their own minimum wage rates that are higher than the federal level. For certain federal or state government contacts, employers must pay the so-called prevailing wage as determined according to the Davis-Bacon Act or its state equivalent. Activists have undertaken to promote the idea of a living wage rate which account for living expenses and other basic necessities, setting the living wage rate much higher than current minimum wage laws require.

See also Edit

Political science:

ReferencesEdit

  1. [1] - Education 2020 Homeschool console, Vocabulary Assignment, definition entry for "wage rate" (may require login to view)
  2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Earnings of Women and Men by Race and Ethnicity, 2007" Accessed June 29, 2012

External linksEdit

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Wiktionary: wage

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