Living Wage Series - Ethiopia - September 2019 - In ETB, per Month

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You are looking at an archive page of WageIndicator Living Wages. This data is not comparable with recent data provided by WageIndicator. This is due to revised data cleaning procedures adopted by WageIndicator and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the cost of living globally. Moreover, the national data shown does not reflect the regional data that is used for Living Wage implementation.

Interested to implement WageIndicator's Living Wages in your organisation's compensation and benefits, using data that is updated every quarter? Learn about the database options and rates and the countries and regions covered. For academic use, data on Living Wages and the cost of living can be acquired for free.

The Living Wage is based on the concept that work should provide an adequate income to cover the necessary living costs of a family. WageIndicator uses prices from the Cost of Living Survey to calculate Living Wage in more than 70 countries. The Living Wage is an approximate income needed to meet a family’s basic needs including food, housing, transport, health, education, tax deductions and other necessities.

The following table summarises the varying expenditure and income needs for the three commonly occurring family household compositions.

Expenditure and Living Wage calculation (monthly rates in ETB)

  Typical family Standard family Single-adult
  from-to from-to from-to
Food expenses 3520-5220 2240-3310 560-830
Housing expenses 2500-4000 2500-4000 1760-2520
Transport expenses 500-710 500-710 250-355
Healthcare expenses 1000-2000 1000-2000 250-500
Education expenses 250-400 250-400 0
Other expenses 390-615 325-520 140-210
Total Expenditure 8160-12945 6815-10940 2960-4415
Net Living Wage 4533-7192 3786-6078 2960-4415
Gross Living Wage 5940-9420 4960-7960 3880-5790

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.


Family Living Wages (monthly rates in ETB)

There is not a single answer to what is the adequate cost of living. The result is complex, as the cost of living varies by household composition, location, and employment pattern. The following table presents the Living Wage estimates for a set of most common family household compositions and under different assumptions about working hours.

Typical family (two parents + 4.3 children, 1.8 working) 5940-9420
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 4960-7960
Two parents and two children, 2 working 4470-7170
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 5950-9560
Two parents and two children, 1 working 8930-14300
Two parents and three children, 1.8 working 5390-8600
Two parents and four children, 1.8 working 5820-9230
Single-adult without children, 1 working 3880-5790

Note: Results in the table are rounded.


Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in ETB)

The Minimum Wage is a national legally binding obligation on employers which often make no reference to a living standard. Living Wage describes the adequate living standard. The common goal of the many living wage campaigns currently taking place all over the world is to lift Minimum Wages levels to those of the Living Wages. WageIndicator presents Living Wages jointly with Minimum Wages, aiming to raise awareness concerning the remaining differences in levels. Living Wages are presented in context with other wage indicators including prevailing wages of workers over recent years.

  2016 2017 2018 2019
Minimum wage 420 420 420 420
Living Wage - Single Adult - - - 3880-5790
Living Wage - Typical Family - - - 5940-9420
Real wage of low-skilled worker - - 2870-3910 2410-3670
Real wage of medium-skilled worker - - 3770-5480 3230-5210
Real wage of high-skilled worker - - 5270-7300 4700-7170

Note: Table shows the lowest monthly Minimum Wage in a country, when available. Reported monthly earnings of workers in low-, medium-, and high-skilled occupations are obtained from the voluntary WageIndicator web survey on work and wages. Results in the table are rounded.


Food basket and food prices in ETB

The food expenditure is the main component of Living Wage and it is determined by the price of food basket. The food prices are taken from WageIndicator Cost of Living Survey which collects the actual prices of all items necessary to calculate the Living Wage. The composition of the food basket is taken from the national food balance sheets published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The food basket is scaled to 2,100 calories per person per day that is the nutritional requirement for good health proposed by World Bank (Handbook on poverty and inequality, 2009).

Food item Grams per day Energy (kcal) Price per kilo
Wheat, barley and cereals products 290 940 10-26
Rice 6 22 20-25
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 23 41 160-200
Oils (soyabean, olive, palm) 8 69 40-60
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 17 59 19-20
Maize and products 115 397 12-20
Milk - Excluding Butter 121 72 15-22
Vegetables, Other 42 15 14-24
Potatoes and products 18 12 7-10
Butter, Ghee 1 10 245-250
Groundnuts (Shelled Eq) 3 14 60-80
Pulses, Other and products 28 96 30-50
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 1 1 33-40
Sunflowerseed Oil 0 0 70-75
Beer (0.5 liter/pint) 24 12 24-28
Beans 6 20 22-29
Sweet potatoes 39 36 15-20
Bananas 8 5 20-20
Soyabeans 1 4 20-25
Yams 28 28 10-20
Apples and products 0 0 80-100
Tomatoes and products 1 0 13-15
Onions 6 2 13-15
Oranges, Mandarines 1 0 25-35
Peas 10 34 26-38
Roots, Other 136 204 14-15
Seeds and kernels 0 2 .3-21
Wine (bottle) 0 0 107-120
Cream 0 0 40-80
Olives (including preserved) 0 2 -
Honey 1 4 100-120
Lemons, Limes and products 0 0 30-40
Coffee and products 2 1 90-110


WageIndicator Living Wage background:

The WageIndicator Living Wage is set to provide acceptable living standard to a family of a particular size. WageIndicator presents Living Wages for several household types and working hours which reflect the most frequently found real situations in which people have to make a living: 1. Typical family Living Wage is a baseline estimate that respects the country specific conditions. Typical family is comprised of two adults and the number of children is given by country specific fertility rate (the average number of children a woman is expected to have during her lifespan). One adult is working full-time and the working hours of second adult are approximated by national employment rate. The total income earned by two adults paid living wage is sufficient to reach adequate living standard. 2. Standard family Living Wage is estimated for a family composed of two adults and two children (referred to as family 2+2). Living wage is calculated under different assumptions about working hours. These include that both adults work full-time (family employment rate is 2), or at least one adult works part-time or half-time (family employment rate is 1.8 and 1.5), or one adult does not work at all (i.e. patriarchal model with family employment 1). Alternatives refer to trade-offs between leisure and work and define what living wage represents. In every case the total income earned by two adults paid living wage is sufficient to reach adequate living standard. 3. Extended family Living Wage includes family with three or four children. One adult works full-time and the work intensity of second parent is approximated by national employment rate. 4. Individual Living Wage represents an acceptable standard of living for a single individual working full-time.

Data sources: WageIndicator Cost of Living Survey, World Bank Databank Fertility rate 2010-2014, ILO Estimated participation rate in 2017, FAO Food balance sheet in 2013.

WageIndicator useful links:

Publication Guzi, M., & Kahanec, M. (2019).  Living Wage Globally. Amsterdam, WageIndicator Foundation
WageIndicator Wages in Context Map with the latest updates
All You Always wanted to Know about Living Wages



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