Ethiopia - Living Wages October 2017. Per Month in ETB

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 for 60 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 Ethiopian Birr)

  Typical family   Standard family   Single-adult  
  from to from to from to
Food 460 845 285 520 71 130
Housing 2500 4500 2500 4500 1090 1790
Transport 500 1000 500 1000 250 500
Health 255 500 255 500 64 125
Education 375 600 375 600 0 0
Other costs 205 370 195 355 73 125
Total Expenditure 4295 7815 4110 7475 1548 2670
Net Living Wage 2261 4113 2283 4153 1548 2670
Gross Living Wage 2990 5430 3020 5480 2050 3530

Note: For more details see Living Wage FAQ.


Family Living Wages (monthly rates in Ethiopian Birr)

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.

  from to
Typical family (two parents + 4.5 children, 1.9 working) 2990 5430
Standard family (two parents + 2 children, 1.8 working) 3020 5480
Two parents and two children, 2 working 2720 4940
Two parents and two children, 1.5 working 3620 6580
Two parents and two children, 1 working 5430 9870
Two parents and three children, 1.9 working 2910 5290
Two parents and four children, 1.9 working 2960 5390
Single-adult without children, 1 working 2050 3530

Note: Results in the table are rounded.


Living Wages in Context (monthly rates in Ethiopian Birr)

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.

  2014 . 2015 . 2016 . 2017 .
  from to from to from to from to
Minimum wage 420 420 420 420 420 420 420 420
Living Wage - Single Adult . . . . . . 2050 3530
Living Wage - Typical Family . . . . . . 2990 5430
Real wage of low-skilled worker 810 1400 1020 1570 770 1270 2000 3620
Real wage of medium-skilled worker 1260 2260 1510 2410 1260 2180 2750 4940
Real wage of high-skilled worker 2120 3020 2740 3500 2400 3420 4590 6660

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 Ethiopian Birr

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 from to
Wheat, barley and cereals 290 940 8 14
Rice 6 22 16 19
Meat (beef, pork, poultry) 23 41 150 180
Oils (soyabean, olive, palm) 8 69 . .
Sugar (Raw Equivalent) 17 59 12 16
Maize and products 115 397 7 8
Milk - Excluding Butter 121 72 13 20
Vegetables, Other 42 15 15 20
Potatoes and products 18 12 7 12
Butter, Ghee 1 10 75 75
Groundnuts (Shelled Eq) 3 14 . .
Pulses, Other and products 28 96 35 45
Egg (price per 10 eggs) 1 1 1 1.7
Fish products 1 0 12 80
Beer 24 12 32 50
Sweeteners, Other 0 0 16 16
Beans 6 20 40 50
Sweet potatoes 39 36 8 9
Bananas 8 5 4 12
Soyabeans 1 4 49 85
Yams 28 28 . .
Apples and products 0 0 56 80
Tomatoes and products 1 0 12 15
Onions 6 2 9 12
Oranges, Mandarines 1 0 25 25
Peas 10 34 28 50
Roots, Other 136 204 . .
Seeds and kernels 0 2 25 45
Wine 0 0 100 106.7
Cream 0 0 3 12
Olives (including preserved) 0 2 . .
Honey 1 4 . .
Lemons, Limes and products 0 0 25 30
Grapefruit and products 0 0 85 85
Coffee and products 2 1 75 80

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.

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