Comparing the minimum wages of different countries is a difficult task. The different countries have different laws and enforcement mechanisms, with some setting minimum wages by region, while others do it by industry. Some let management and workers set the minimum wage by way of a collective bargaining agreement. Others also have a graduated system in which the minimum wage depends on the age range of an individual.
There are also countries that do have a minimum wage law but whose enforcement leaves a lot to be desired. In those cases, the effective minimum wage is actually a lot lower than the legislated one. Aside from these, countries have different mandatory deductions for taxes, welfare and social security contributions. Meanwhile, some, like Singapore, does not have any minimum wage level.
Still, here is a list of the top 10 countries with the highest minimum wages on an annual basis. These are gross numbers, meaning mandatory deductions are not included. For purpose of easy analysis, only countries that have a tight range of minimum wages across the nation are included. Numbers have also been converted to dollar figures and reflect purchasing power so that they may be compared with each other properly and correctly.
10. Switzerland – $15,457 per year
Switzerland, as a country, actually does not have a minimum wage written into law. It does have collective bargaining agreements between its workers and management and almost the entire population is covered by it. The minimum salary of skilled workers ranges from 2,800 to 5,300 Swiss francs, while that of unskilled workers may be anywhere between 2,200 to 4,200 Swiss francs.
Next: 9. San Marino - $15,707 per year