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The average wage is a measure for the financial well-being of a country's inhabitants. A similar measure is GDP per capita. However, GDP (on the income side) = compensation of employees + gross operating surplus/mixed income + taxes on production - subsidies. This way, various components increase the GDP that are not directly contributing to the well-being of citizens. In particular, the gross operating surplus consists of corporate profits, which is money that companies save, reinvest, or pay to their shareholders in the form of dividends (who may be located outside the country). Even in the case of reinvestment, much of the money moves offshore, especially with larger multi-national companies. In order to measure the part of the income generated by the domestic economy that is actually earned by the employees, it is better to break down the GDP to its components and consider only wages and salaries.
The data presented represents full-time average annual gross wages and salaries in the entire economy of selected Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries. The figure is derived by taking the national accounts aggregate of wages and salaries, dividing them by the national accounts aggregate for average wage and salary employment, and multiplying it by the ratio of average weekly working hours per full-time employee to average weekly working hours for all employees. The resulting estimates correspond to average annual wages per full-time equivalent dependent employee. The calculations were made using the latest data from the OECD. Wages and salaries are a component of GDP on the income side.
According to Murphy, the figures here may not match that of other sources for a variety of reasons; National Accounts (NA) wages include both full-time and part-time workers at a full-time equivalent rate. This is likely to reduce the level of NA wages (as compared to average earnings from only full-time jobs) since average wages for part-time workers, even at a full-time equivalent rate, are lower than average earnings from full-time jobs; The lower level of NA wages for certain countries such as Germany, as compared to average earnings reported from some well-known surveys, probably reflects the inclusion of employees in mini (part-time) jobs and apprenticeships. Low-paid apprentices are counted as employees in national accounts and labour force surveys, but are omitted from structure of earnings surveys; Some alternative estimates, for instance those based on labour cost surveys, are limited to establishments with ten or more employees. These surveys tend to overstate average wages, relative to the more comprehensive coverage of NA wages.