WageIndicator Gazette 24, March 2010

Ambitious women, overqualified in underpaid jobs ** 433 different job & salary pages ** World Database of ISCO Occupations (WISCO) ** German industries shrink due to recession ** Work overload for nursing staff ** Decent Work-project kick off in Mozambique

Ambitious women, overqualified in underpaid jobs

Women are as ambitious as men when it comes to their career. Just as men they find a decent salary and reward opportunities the most important career drivers. Having children does not influence these priorities. Yet working women too often are overqualified for the work they do, whereas men are not. This means that there is a lot of potential on the labour market that remains untapped because women are frustrated in their career ambitions. This picture emerges from an international comparison of the factors influencing women’s decisions to work, involving 43 countries. The picture becomes worse still, since working mothers on the whole are paid less than working women without children. The burden of household and child care in combination with being underpaid for the work they do, puts working mothers in a dead-end street.

These findings are based on a sample of 345,000 data collected by WageIndicator online surveys in 2008 and the first quarter of 2009 in those 43 countries. The data was analyzed by Income Data Services, the British research partner of WageIndicator, on behalf of ITUC, the International Trade Union Confederation. The results are published on March 8, international women’s day.

Download report: Decisions for Work
433 different job & salary pages

From January 2010 onwards WageIndicator works on a system to create per country, special web pages dedicated to 433 occupations plus related salary information. A related development is a so called Graph generator. This application – still under construction – when fully operational will allow a journalist/labour market specialist to generate his/her own graphs out of the data set. These graphs can then be copied and pasted into a website.  See here an example of Jobs & salary pages plus Graphs.

World Database of ISCO Occupations (WISCO)

A database with the most frequent 1,600 ISCO-coded occupations for EU countries, has been renamed WISCO, the acronym for World Database of ISCO Occupations. After job descriptions and job content of 150 occupations were added WageIndicator has extended the outreach of this standardizing tool by translating the list into the most used languages in almost 50 countries in and outside Europe. The original database was developed in the EurOccupations project (2006-2009). Data-collectors, experts on occupations and jobholders from all over the world are invited to use and to contribute to the WISCO Database of Occupations. Suggestions for improvements of occupational titles in a particular country/ language are welcomed and so are reflections on the search tree. Additions for new countries/languages are particularly welcomed. See examples here.

German industries shrink due to recession

Dismissals, shortening of working hours and cuts in wages are the reactions of many German companies to pull through the current economic crisis. Especially the metal industry is going through hard times. These trends are based on surveys from 10,000 German workers between August and December 2009. 38 percent said their company was doing worse, compared to the beginning of 2009. In the metal industry this percentage goes up to 65 percent, in the chemical industry with 53 percent and in the financial industry with 47 percent. The hotel and catering industry was hit by 46 percent.  This observation shows that WageIndicator online research is approaching the ideal of closely monitoring labour market events as they unfold.

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Work overload for nursing staff

A comparison of office workers and nursing staff in health care shows an overall picture of nurses feeling overloaded 4 out of 5 working days. Their colleagues from admin lead significantly less stressful working lives. Yet, all in all, work-related stress of nursing staff does not lead to strong dissatisfaction with pay. High job satisfaction seems to compensate, in nearly all 8 countries compared, for the work-related stress of nurses.

See  full report Stress in Health occupations.

Decent Work-project kick off in Mozambique

At a meeting on January 30th in the Mozambican capital Maputo, jointly organized by local and regional WageIndicator teams, a lively debate unfolded on decent working conditions. Guided by a paper version of the DecentWorkCheck, by now online in 20 countries, participants exchanged their experiences with work related decency. As key actions to be taken, the group singled out: individuals should take more responsibility in acquiring the relevant knowledge of their rights; government should support enforcement of the law; more interaction between Trade Unions, Employers associations, the ILO and the government; and education, education, education.

The involvement and support of the Dutch Foreign Office in this decent work-project reflects the priority it gives to the ILO-instigated Decent Work-agenda. The results of the Maputo kick-off meeting are put at the disposal of social partners in other Southern African countries too. If considered relevant they might serve as input for action plans. Next meeting: Lusaka March 20. See Mywage,org/Zambia.


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