Annual Report 2017


Capacity for global outreach in place

In 2017 WageIndicator finalized a technical platform which allows for a standardized roll out of its core activities in all countries it wants to serve. The most outstanding feature of this technical achievement is that on the basis of a highly standardized and automated back end of all operations, national variations of our core labour market themes can be done justice. Thus, all national websites with their Salary Checks, Wages in Context, Minimum Wages and Labour Law databases - to name just a few - reflect the given couleur locale and country-specific features in their national language. Moreover, all national websites can be relatively easily updated.

Since 2015 our databases comprise all different wage and remuneration types: real wages that reflect the actual labour market value of occupations in particular sectors per country, poverty lines, legal Minimum Wages, Living Wages, actual wages, VIP-incomes. In short: Wages in Context. We aim to outfit all national websites with such Wages in Context, as well as a Collective Agreement database and a national labour law database - all designed in the same way. The focus for 2017 has been to create on- and offline apps for the main databases: wages, Living Wages and Labour Law. This type of on/offline data collectors may result in special Company Pages, as in Indonesia.

Adding more countries was no priority in 2017, though the basis for expansion to 150 countries was laid through the full automatic data cleaning of Salary Survey, Cost of Living Survey and DecentWorkCheck, and a multilingual, user-ready roll out capacity for 150 countries. Moreover, in the beginning of 2017 the WageIndicator technical team decided that an update of the current open source CMS Plone 4 to Plone 5 was needed and planned for its completion in the first quarter of 2018. Some websites suffered from the change of http to https. Some suffered more from the cleaning of the sites in the beginning of the year. Most websites continued to grow, yet overall visit figures fell.

Growth trend interrupted

The combined sites of the WageIndicator countries had 25.5 million visits in 2014, 31.2 million visits in 2015 and reached 39.3 in 2016. In 2017 this growth came to a halt at 34.5 million. The main reasons responsible for this trend break that could be detected, are:

  • a conflict with the German institute WSI about the domain
  • a conflict with the Finnish owner of the domain name
  • not being able to pay the high compensation demands from the former Russian language team
  • health problems in the Spanish team
  • political problems in the Brazilian institute
  • fluctuations in the Dutch traffic: 2016 8.143.954, 2017 7.798.001

The availability of databases across WageIndicator countries, i.e. with our websites, was:

  • 81 countries have a Salary Check
  • 81 countries are included in the Minimum Wage database
  • 64 countries can show a Living Wage
  • 84 countries run Labour Law pages from the database
  • 95 countries have an offline DecentWorkCheck
  • 54 countries are included in the Collective Agreement database
  • 90 countries run a VIP salaries database

The numbers don't reflect the fact that the technical and language infrastructure is ready for 150 countries. By the end of 2016 we prepared the Gulf states, Iran, Norway and Switzerland for inclusion during 2017 and 2018. In general it is less difficult than a few years ago to set up a site and start building databases. However, to find a gifted team in a new country remains a challenge. The growth of countries in the back-end was steady.

Academic international events

As in all previous years we organized and/or participated in international events and developments in our field of research, i.e.:

  • The start of Glabor. All relevant team members of WageIndicator became part of Glabor, as researchers or as journalists.
  • The team members responsible for the wage databases and Labour Law/Collective Agreement databases contributed to the ILO RDW conference in Geneva, July 2017.
  • At the AIAS yearly conference, Wages in Global Perspective, September 1 in Amsterdam, WageIndicator gave presentations with the team managers of Latin America, the project manager Gajimu Indonesia, the global database manager and the responsible person for the Wages in Context calculations.

As is common practice, as well as deliberate team building policy, various specialists making up the global team of WageIndicator contributed to the international events mentioned. Topics and analyses covered in their papers, were:

  • WageIndicator for worldwide data-collection and research
  • Estimating living wage globally.
  • Raising awareness and compliance on 48 themes in 152 Countries with WageIndicator DecentWorkCheck.
  • Are Collective Agreements around the world doing their job in increasing equality and promoting work/family balance arrangements?
  • Indian labour market and position of women: Gender Pay Gap in the Indian formal sector.
  • Minimum Wages in India and worldwide
  • Enabling apparel workers and employers to check, debate, negotiate and publish wages and working conditions online
  • Occupations, skills and wages: tackling barriers to youth employment in Hungary and analyzing tasks and wages
  • Does migration pay off for foreign-born health worker migrants?
  • Life satisfaction of employed, labour market tightness and matching efficiency
AIAS/University of Amsterdam

The longstanding structural cooperation with AIAS in 2017 found expression (also) in the sharing of WageIndicator infrastructure, for the following projects:.

  • EDUWORKS - labour market matching processes. EC-FP7-Marie Curie, Europe. October 2013 - October 2017
  • INGRID - Inclusive Growth Infrastructure Diffusion. Focus on wages and working conditions surveys. EC-FP7-Infrastra, Europe. February 2013 - February 2017
  • INGRID 2 - European Union - Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. May 2017 - May 2021
  • SERISS - Synergies for Europe's Research Infrastructures in the Social Sciences, Horizon 2020. Occupation list extends from 1,700 till 5,000 job titles - 2015-2019
  • BARCOM, Social Dialogue in Europe. Improve expertise in industrial relations in commerce through innovation in the sectoral bargaining systems - 2016-2018
Income and expenses

Maintenance cost and office cost have been reduced again in 2017, while operations could be maintained throughout. Nevertheless, the bottom line of budget cuts is in sight. The management sees little or no options for future reductions. At the same time new grant opportunities are expected to be fewer than before. The grants are smaller and it takes funders longer to decide. Thus in 2017 4 major project proposals were turned down. The remaining project/grants proposals in 2017 were:

Projects in action:
  • Transparency through mobile internet. Enabling apparel workers and employers to check, debate, negotiate and publish wages and working conditions online - C&A Foundation. April - 2017- April 2019.
  • BARCOM - With innovative tools for bargaining support in the commerce sector (BARCOM) - European Social Dialogue. Through University of Amsterdam/AIAS.
Projects granted:
  • for living wages in the garment sector - FNV Mondiaal - 2018-2019-2020
  • CNV-contribution to Up to Date and Sustainable WageIndicator Operations - CNV Internationaal
  • From 92 to 194 countries - Pineapple Fund - 2018-2019-2020

As compared to 2016, total income decreased by 51% from € 893,000 in 2016 to € 440,000 in 2016 due to less project grants. Against a budgeted income of € 499,000, the decrease was € 59,000. Income generating activities increased slightly from € 232,000 in 2016 to € 247,000 in 2017, whereas its projected and realized income were more or less the same (€ 247,000 resp. 246,000). Whilst banner income decreased quite substantially (23%), income from assignments more than doubled (118%), and data-selling saw nearly a three-fold increase.

The three strategic work areas showed a decrease in expenses from 2016 to 2017 of € 17,000 (-9%). Against the budget, the decrease was slightly more: € 25.000 (11%). This reflects the capability of the WageIndicator to work efficiently and flexibly, depending on availability of funds. Expenses under grants/funds showed a sharp decrease in expenses of € 451,000 (-70%), reflecting the trend of reduced project funding with only 2 projects in 2017 compared to 7 projects in 2016.


The result before taxes comes to a surplus of € -44,637 compared to € 2,700 in 2016; against a budgeted result of € 1,660. This negative result is deducted from the general fund, accumulating to a total of € 126,842 per end of 2017.


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