Wages in Rwanda

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This WageIndicator Data Report presents the results of the face-to-face WageIndicator survey in Rwanda, conducted between the 27th of October and the 3rd of December 2012. The survey aimed to measure in detail the wages earned by Rwandan workers. In total 2,074 persons were interviewed in towns in all provinces of Rwanda.

The workers lived in households with on average 4 members, including themselves. Almost half of the workers live with a partner and children. Some 4% of workers followed no formal education, two in ten stopped at elementary education, 44% completed secondary education. 6% followed post-secondary education and 26% followed tertiary education. On a scale from 1=dissatisfied to 10=satisfied, workers rate their satisfaction with life as a whole a 5.9 on average.

In the sample, 29% of the workers were self-employed, 24% were employees on permanent contracts, 24% had fixed-term contracts, whereas 23% had no contract at all. On average, the workers had worked for 9.5 years. Over half of the people worked in an organization with 10 or fewer employees, one in three worked in an organization with 11-50 employees, 7% work in businesses of 51 to 100 employees and 11% work for businesses employing over a 100 people. Up to 55% of workers in the sample report being employed as managers (this group includes all business owners, including micro-enterprises), 12% are services and sales workers, 11% work in elementary occupations and 10% as clerical support workers. Over four in ten respondents work in trade transport and hospitality, 27% in agriculture, manufacturing and construction, 18% in the public sector and 15% work in commercial services.

On average, the respondents work 60 hours per week and 5.9 days. Some 42% of workers report working shifts, 39% work evenings, 56% work Saturdays, while 36% works Sundays. Some 39% state that they are entitled to social security, whereas 46% contribute to social security. Less than two in ten workers state that they have no agreed working hours, 60% has agreed hours in writing and 22% verbally agreed hours. Up to 82% of workers report receiving their wage on time; 53% of workers received wages in a bank account, 46% cash in hand and 1% in kind. On a 5-point informality-index, ranging from 1=very informal to 5=very formal, 39% of workers are in the lowest category in the index, whereas 18% are in the highest category.

The median net hourly wage of the total sample is 450 Rwandan francs (RWF); 26% of workers earn less than 150 francs per hour, another 24% earn between 150 and 450 francs, 29% earn between 450 and 1350 francs and the remaining 21% earn more than 1350 francs per hour. Employees with permanent contracts have by far the highest earnings (1008 RWF), whereas workers without contracts (128 RWF) have the lowest earnings. At 565 francs, employees on fixed term contracts earn above average wages, whereas the self-employed fall below it (418 RWF). Managers have the highest median wages (722 RWF). The lowest paid workers are skill service and sales workers (128 RWF) and workers in elementary occupations (139 RWF). The highest wages are earned in agriculture, manufacturing and construction (667 RWF), the lowest in commercial services (202 RWF).

At 270 RWF, workers in firms with less than ten employees earn the lowest wages, whereas employees in firms of over a 100 employees earn the highest wages (1210 RWF). Those on the lowest end of the informality index earn only 192 RWF per hour, whereas those in the highest category earn wages 1155 francs. Men have slightly higher wages compared to women, and young workers have substantial lower wages than workers in the oldest age group. Workers with tertiary education earned 1369 RWF, compared to 98 RWF for workers without education.

Only 49% of the sample is paid on or above the poverty line of 118.000 RWF per month. Workers without contracts were most vulnerable; just one in ten earn on or above the poverty line. In contrast, 79% of employees with permanent contracts, 57% of workers on fixed term contracts and 44% of self-employed do. Workers in firms employing between 51 and 100 people are most often paid above the poverty line (86%), compared to only 35% of workers in firms employing 10 people or less. Only 26% of the most informal workers are paid on or above the poverty line, compared to 84% of the most formal workers. Men are slightly more likely to paid above the poverty line than women (52% versus 47%). The older workers are, the more likely they are to be paid above the poverty line. Workers with tertiary education are paid on or above the poverty line in 92% of the cases, compared to just 15% of workers without formal education. Up to 63% of managers are paid above the poverty line, whereas only 14% of workers in elementary occupations and 19% of services and sales workers are. Workers in commercial services are most at risk of being paid poverty wages, while workers in agriculture, manufacturing and construction are most likely to be paid on or above the poverty line.