Statistical aspects of minimum wage determination

Outlines the types and sources of statistical data which are likely to be required when setting and reviewing minimum wages in a country. The statistical requirements of wage setting may assist and guide other countries in developing their statistical systems for the same purpose.

A system of minimum wages, whatever its form, cannot work unless it is based on regular, reliable
and timely statistics on a variety of data items, including income, wages, prices and the characteristics
of wage-earners (sex, occupation, skill levels, etc). This article explores the statistical issues underlying
the determination of minimum wages, and makes recommendations for a statistical programme of
support. Section 2 describes the objectives for determining minimum wages, Section 3 outlines the
criteria for minimum wage determination and Section 4 refers to the methods and systems for setting or
adjusting minimum wages. All three sections suggest the statistics which may be required in support of
wage determination. Section 5 describes and evaluates the different data sources which may be used
to generate these statistics.