If you’ve ever wondered how much minimum wages are, this article about ‘Global Leaders: 20 Countries with the Highest Minimum Wage’ is your eye-opening journey into the world of fair compensation.
Salaries, no matter where you are, are a universal topic of interest.
We’ve all wondered what people earn in countries we’ve never been to, and what safeguards are in place to ensure fair compensation. In some nations, there’s even a legal floor below which employers cannot pay their workers.
This article delves into the intriguing world of minimum wages, revealing which countries have what minimum wage levels and highlighting those that lead the way with the highest minimum wages.
Minimum Hourly Wage: $4.86 USD
Currently, Portugal maintains a minimum wage of approximately 760 euros ($833) per month, ensuring that any worker earning less than $833 is entitled to a wage revision. Portugal’s government has set ambitious goals to raise the minimum wage, with plans to reach $987 by 2026. This equates to an estimated minimum hourly wage of $4.86, excluding bonuses, and $5.67, including bonuses.
Minimum Hourly Wage: $5.63 USD
The Republic of Lithuania witnessed a significant increase in its minimum wage from 730 euros ($800) in 2022 to 840 euros ($921) in 2023, resulting in a minimum hourly wage of $5.63. This places Lithuania among the countries with the highest minimum wages worldwide.
Minimum Hourly Wage: $5.66 USD
Poland’s minimum monthly wage currently stands at nearly $867, equivalent to an hourly minimum wage of 22.8 PLN, or approximately $5.66. The Polish government continues to demonstrate its commitment to improving the lives of low-wage workers by aiming to raise the minimum monthly wage to $894.4, effective from July 2023.
Minimum Hourly Wage: $6.87 USD
As of the fiscal year ending in March 2023, Japan implemented a 3.3% increase in its minimum wage, equivalent to a 31-yen ($0.22) raise. The current minimum hourly wage in Japan now stands at 961 yen, which translates to $6.87.
Minimum Hourly Wage: $7.25 USD
The United States has maintained a federal minimum hourly wage of $7.25 since July 24, 2009, as regulated by The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). It’s worth noting that tipped employees in certain industries receive a minimum hourly wage of $2.13.
Minimum Hourly Wage: $7.51 USD
South Korea experienced a 5% increase in its minimum hourly wage, raising it to $7.51 in 2023. This minimum wage applies across all industries contributing to South Korea’s economy. However, expectations for 2024 suggest a modest 2.5% increase in the hourly minimum wage due to economic challenges and an uptick in the inflation rate.
Minimum Hourly Wage: $7.58 USD
Situated in Central Europe with a population of approximately 2.1 million, Slovenia stands as the richest Slavic country. In January 2023, Slovenia witnessed a remarkable 12% increase in the minimum monthly salary, with the monthly minimum wage now reaching nearly $1,320. It’s also notable that Slovenia is celebrated for its exceptional education system.
Minimum Hourly Wage: $8.13 USD
Officially known as the Principality of Andorra, this small nation, nestled between France and Spain in the eastern Pyrenees Mountains, introduced a 7% increase in the minimum wage in 2023 compared to the previous year. Workers aged 15 and above in Andorra now enjoy a minimum hourly wage of 7.42 euros, equating to $8.13.
Minimum Hourly Wage: $8.23 USD
Officially recognized as the State of Israel and located in the Middle East, Israel boasts a GDP per capita of $54,659.8 as of 2022. In April 2023, the Israeli government approved an increase in the hourly minimum wage to nearly $8.23, solidifying its place as one of the countries with the highest minimum wages globally.
Minimum Hourly Wage: $9.26 USD
In Spain, all workers are entitled to the same minimum hourly wage, regardless of their age or gender. A significant 8% increase in the minimum wage, known as Salario Mínimo Interprofesional (SMI), took effect in January 2023. The minimum wage for hourly workers now stands at $9.26, while monthly workers can expect an estimated wage of $1,184.
With only 10 countries left to explore, we’re on the brink of uncovering the top 5 nations with the highest and lowest salaries.
Are you making educated guesses about the countries that make the cut?
Perhaps you’re considering a move to Canada, but you’re uncertain about salary levels in North America. Even scouring job listings may not provide the answers you seek.
Well, look no further. Canada is one of the countries we’ll be discussing!
Can you predict where Canada ranks and discover the current minimum wage there?
Minimum Hourly Wage: $12.38 USD
With a noteworthy GDP per capita of $104,038.9 as of 2022, Ireland has made substantial contributions to high-tech and financial services sectors. The minimum wage in Ireland for workers aged 20 and above is approximately $12.4 per hour. This places Ireland among the countries with the highest minimum wages globally.
Minimum Hourly Wage: $12.57
In Canada, provinces and territories have the authority to set their respective minimum wages. The province with the highest minimum wage in Canada is British Columbia, with an hourly wage of $12.65. In contrast, the province with the lowest minimum wage is Saskatchewan, at $9.81 per hour. At the federal level, the hourly minimum wage in Canada stands at $12.57. Minimum wage in BC in 2023 is $12.07 USD.
Canada is known for its competitive salaries and high standard of living. What’s particularly interesting is the emphasis on equal pay for equal work. In Canada, it’s not just about earning a good salary but also ensuring that there’s pay equity. Laws and policies aim to reduce wage gaps between different genders and minority groups, promoting fairness and inclusivity in the workplace. This commitment to equitable pay makes Canada an attractive destination for individuals seeking not just a good salary, but also a fair and inclusive work environment.
Minimum Hourly Wage: $12.63 USD
France witnessed a 2.2% increase in the hourly minimum wage in May 2023. The minimum hourly wage currently stands at $12.63, which translates to an estimated monthly salary of approximately $1,915.
Minimum Hourly Wage: $13.10 USD
Belgium has maintained a minimum monthly wage of 1,954.99 euros ($2,143) since December 2022. Considering the average weekly working hours of 36-40 for employees, working 38 hours amounts to a minimum hourly wage of nearly $13. It’s important to note that hourly minimum wages vary and can increase, particularly for employees in the construction and cleaning sectors.
Minimum Hourly Wage: $13.15 USD
This wage increase, amounting to an annual salary of approximately $2,280 for full-time employees above the age of 18, solidifies Germany as the country with the second-highest minimum wage in Europe, trailing only behind Luxembourg. This 15% salary increase has positively impacted the lives of over 6 million junior-level workers, with a significant portion being women.
5. United Kingdom
Minimum Hourly Wage: $13.32 USD
Similar to numerous European nations, the United Kingdom’s minimum hourly wage varies based on the age of the worker. Specifically, only workers aged 23 and above qualify for the “living wage,” which amounts to $13.32. Workers under the age of 23 are eligible for a lower wage.
4. New Zealand
Minimum Hourly Wage: $13.90 USD
In April 2023, New Zealand witnessed an increase in its national minimum wage, rising by $0.92. As a result, the minimum hourly wage for adult employees working 40 hours per week escalated from $12.9 to $13.90. It’s worth noting that wage distinctions exist for entry-level and trained employees.
Minimum Hourly Wage: $14.08 USD
Unlike the conventional hourly wage calculation, the Netherlands establishes its minimum wage on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, depending on the nature of the job. For individuals working 36, 38, or 40 hours per week, employees aged 21 and above receive a minimum weekly wage of approximately 460.4 euros ($507).
Minimum Hourly Wage: $15.12 USD
This compact, landlocked nation boasts a gross monthly wage of roughly $2,750 for unskilled workers aged 18 and above. As the wealthiest country in Europe with an exceptional economy and a GDP per capita of approximately $126,426.1 as of 2022, Luxembourg has the capacity to offer high minimum wages, contributing to an elevated standard of living. It is Europe’s leader in terms of minimum wages.
Minimum Hourly Wage: $15.46 USD
Australia secures the top spot as the country with the world’s highest minimum wage in 2023, with a minimum hourly wage of $15.46. All employees aged 21 and above are entitled to this rate.
After exploring all the countries on this list, have you found yourself increasingly eager to consider Canada as your next destination for work?
Is the minimum wage in Canada more attractive than what your current country offers?
If your response is affirmative, we’d be delighted to welcome you to Canada and assist you in the process of applying for a work visa!
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Where to look for jobs as a newcomer in Canada?
There are many ways to look for jobs, such as:
Research companies where you want to work by:
- check their website for jobs they post
- contact employers directly to ask if they are hiring
Browse job search websites and newspapers classified sections to see who is hiring
(1) Job Bank (Government’s Website)
Use an employment agency that searches for jobs for you
- call or visit a Service Canada Centre near you for lists of government employment services and training help
- ask family and friends if they know about open jobs, because many jobs aren’t advertised , and you’ll only learn about some jobs by word of mouth.
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