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Workers' real wage decline reflected in low purchasing power

Viva.com - July 15, 2015

Rochimawati, Arie Dwi Budiawati – Although the nominal wage of agricultural and urban informal workers increased in 2015, their real wages declined.

The nominal wage of agricultural workers nationally increased by 1.15 percent from 46,386 rupiah a day in May to 46,458 a day in June 2015.

"Meanwhile their real wages declined in comparison with May 2015 from 38,383 rupiah [a day] to 38,183 rupiah", said National Statistics Agency (BPS) chief Suryamin at the BPS central office in Jakarta on Wednesday July 15.

According to Suryamin, the nominal wage of urban informal workers experienced a similar decline as agricultural workers' wages: the nominal wage increased but their real wages declined.

According to the BPS's records, construction workers' wages increased marginally by 0.19 percent from 80,087 rupiah a day in May to 80,237 rupiah in June 2015. Their real wage in June however declined by 0.35 percent from 67,019 to 66,786.

Meanwhile in June 2015, the average nominal wage of beauty salon workers rose by 0.19 percent from 23,310 rupiah a day to 23,354 rupiah while real wages declined by 0.35 percent from 19,507 rupiah a day to 19,439 rupiah. The decline was similar for the monthly wages of domestic workers (PRT).

According to the data, domestic workers' wages in June increased by 0.36 percent compared with May rising from 350,247 rupiah a month to 351,497 rupiah. Their real wage however declined by 0.18 percent from 293,094 a month in May 2015 to 292,572 rupiah in June.

Suryamin said that changes in the real wage are reflected in changes in purchasing power based on the income received by workers such as agricultural workers, industrial workers and urban informal sector workers. They represent the low income social groups.

The low level of real wages shows that the purchasing power of low income people is also low. "The higher the real wage, the higher the purchasing power of workers' wages. The reverse is also the case", he said. (asp)

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was Upah Riil Buruh Turun, Tanda Daya Beli Rendah.]

Source: http://bisnis.news.viva.co.id/news/read/650811-upah-riil-buruh-turun--tanda-daya-beli-rendah.

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