Comparing salaries between countries has never been easier

comparing salaries between countries

In a previous post, I explained how we used data from the International Labour Organization to give average earnings of different job categories in 144 countries.

By doing this, we aim to provide relevant and accurate job insights for people, and make this information easy to understand.

In the same way, we developed a new tool, that you can try here, to easily compare the salaries of these job categories between two different countries. But we don’t just compare salaries in US dollars, let me explain why.

Comparing salaries by taking into account the standard of living

Comparing salaries for managers in Canada and the UK, in US dollar
In this comparison, the salaries for managers seem higher in Canada than in the UK…

Comparing salaries between countries is no easy task. There are different currencies to compare, which are constantly evolving. Furthermore, you need to consider the cost of life from one country to another. For example, US$1,000 spent in Los Angeles won’t give you as much items as the same amount in Montana, and even less than in a town in Bulgaria.

This is where our new tool becomes interesting. It is still possible to get salaries of many job categories of different countries in US dollars, but also in purchasing power parity, or PPP.

To make things simple, PPP is a measure that economists use to calculate how much it costs to buy a ‘basket of goods’ in one country in comparison to another.

For example, in 2020, a Big Mac costs £3.39 in Britain and US$5.71 in the United States – which shows a PPP exchange rate of 0.59. This is calculated by dividing the price in Britain (£3.39), by the price in the US ($5.71). At the same time, the actual USD/GBP exchange rate was 0.79 – which suggest the British Pound is undervalued by over 25 percent.

Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) follows the same approach, by taking a basket of commonly purchased goods such as milk, televisions, motor vehicles, and phones, among others. It then calculates the price of these, thereby working out the total cost of these goods in local currency.

In case, the results are given in 2017 US$ PPP. That means every local currency is compared to the US dollar at the exchange rate at the same given time in 2017.

Comparing salaries for managers in Canada and the UK, in 2017 US dollar PPP
The same comparison, but by taking into account the standard of living in both countries

How reliable are these numbers?

Once again, all the figures are from the International Labour Organization, and are available for free on their website. We just show the same figures in a way that is more user-friendly. But that also means we are subject to the same limits as the salary data we posted before.

Improving the career encyclopedia

By combining this information with the nearly 3000 jobs in our encyclopedia and the other salary sheets we already have, we hope to become a reliable and relevant source for your future career choices. But to achieve this goal, nothing beats the information that you, the readers of this article, can give us about your career.

Whether it’s the type of job you have, the skills and knowledge you need, your salary, your progress, the requirements for moving from one country to another for your job, or any other career-related information you feel would be helpful, all of this information, once added to our database, will be able to help a significant number of people around the world. We publish all verified information so users can benefit from it as soon as possible. We also add this data to our career algorithm so that people using our career test have better career suggestions for their situation.

Your help is essential to achieving this goal. So join us today on Jinn, and contribute to our career encyclopedia. Your contribution is welcome!

Image credit: Money bank vector created by studiogstock