Interesting data from the latest Global Wage Report from the International Labor Organization.
The following table illustrates the cumulative increase in real wages since 2000. Note the marked differences across regions. In Asia, real wages have nearly doubled while only increasing by 5 percent in developed economies. Also note the decline in the real wage in the Middle East, which is partially a reflection of the region’s current political instability.
In spite of the rapid growth of real wages in certain regions, the absolute differences in wages across countries is still large. This is reflected in the following chart with wage estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Using a different methodology, the ILO estimated total hourly compensation costs at US$1.36 in China for 2008 and US$1.17 in India for 2007. Though these data can change with exchange rate fluctuations, they do illustrate the still large wide manufacturing wage gap among nations.
(click here if charts are not observable)