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Visualizing How COVID-19 Has Impacted Global Wages

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Visualizing How COVID-19 Impacted Global Wages

In the years leading up to the pandemic, annual global wage growth was fluctuating stably between 1.6%–2.2%. Now, income, working hours, and employment have all been impacted by COVID-19—but for those who have held onto their jobs, how have wages been affected?

This interactive chart from the International Labour Organization (ILO) reveals how the global pandemic has affected both nominal and real wages, as well as unemployment rates.

The date of data collection varies on a country-by-country basis, using the most recent available data. The most recent measurement of wage indices is from September 2020 in some countries and the least recent available data comes from Q2’2020. In select countries the date of unemployment rates and wage indices are different. As a point of reference, the average wage index in 2019 was 100.

Note: the ILO uses national statistics databases and only the select countries had enough recent, available data for all three elements: nominal wages, real wages, and unemployment.

Where Average Wages are Falling

Average wages in many countries either plateaued or decreased significantly during the global pandemic. Sharp declines happened across a number of European countries, as well as in South Africa and Japan, for example.

CountryUnemployment RateReal Wage IndexNominal Wage Index
🇻🇳 Vietnam (as of Q2'2020)2.7%92.494.4
🇪🇸 Spain (as of Q2'2020)15.3%92.592.3
🇲🇽 Mexico (as of August 2020)5%94.498
🇿🇦 South Africa (as of Q2'2020)23.3%95.297.4
🇰🇷 South Korea (as of August 2020)3.1%96.296.8
🇷🇺 Russia (as of August 2020)6.4%96.9100.5
🇨🇿 Czech Republic (as of Q2'2020)6.6%97.899.6
🇸🇰 Slovakia (as of Q2'2020)6.6%97.899.6
🇯🇵 Japan (as of August 2020)3%98.698.7
🇫🇮 Finland (as of August 2020)7.9%99.6100.1
🇩🇪 Germany (as of Q2'2020)4.4%99.6100.5
ℹ️ Nominal wages are the actual wages/money that a worker receives. Real wages represent the relative purchasing power of nominal wages.

Falling wages, however, do not necessarily mean that people are receiving less money, as many subsidies have been put in place to help cushion income or job loss.

In many cases where wage indices declined, employment did not. This is because different job retention schemes were put in place, wherein workers were furloughed, but were given a portion of their wages from the national government. This allowed unemployment rates to remain steady while wages tapered off.

In Europe, where wages have dropped considerably in many countries, wage subsidies have compensated for nearly 40% of wage bill loss in select countries. But while high income countries can afford to inject stimulus into their economies, most lower income countries cannot. This has come to be described as the fiscal stimulus gap.

Where Average Wages are Rising

While perhaps counterintuitive, rising average wages are in no way an inherent sign of a recovering economy or labor market. Regardless, when compared to 2019, wages have actually increased in the majority of countries, such as Brazil, Canada, United States, Italy, and the UK.

CountryUnemployment RateReal Wage IndexNominal Wage Index
🇨🇦 Canada (as of August 2020)10.6%107.6108.4
🇲🇰 North Macedonia (Unemployment: Jun '20; wage data: Aug '20) 16.7%107.6109.7
🇧🇷 Brazil (as of Q2'2020)13.3%107.3109.6
🇧🇬 Bulgaria (as of June 2020)5.9%106.9107.8
🇭🇺 Hungary (as of August 2020)4.4%106.3106.5
🇮🇹 Italy (as of Q2'2020)8.3%106.2106.2
🇫🇷 France (as of Q2'2020)7.1%105.4105.9
🇷🇸 Serbia (Unemployment: Jun '20; wage data: Aug '20)7.7%104.7106.7
🇳🇴 Norway (as of Q2'2020)4.6%104.5105.6
🇺🇸 U.S. (as of September 2020)7.9%104.3106.2
🇵🇹 Portugal (as of June 2020)7.3%103.2104.2
🇹🇭 Thailand (as of Q2'2020)2%103100.6
🇷🇴 Romania (as of August 2020)5.3%102.5105.2
🇳🇱 Netherlands (as of September 2020)4.4%102103.6
🇬🇧 UK (as of September 2020)4.8%101.5102.4
🇩🇰 Denmark (as of Q2'2020)5.3%101.4101.5
🇸🇪 Sweden (as of August 2020)8.8%100.8101.6
🇨🇱 Chile (as of August 2020)12.3%100.6103.4
🇲🇾 Malaysia (as of June 2020)4.7%100.299
ℹ️ Nominal wages are the actual wages/money that a worker receives. Real wages represent the relative purchasing power of nominal wages.

One reason for higher average wages is something called the compositional effect. The compositional effect is what occurs when wages are not actually increasing, but the makeup of employment changes. For example, the loss and subsequent absence of many lower paying jobs from the labor market due to COVID-19 can skew the average wage upwards.

Brazil is a prime example of the compositional effect. As both nominal and real wages increase, so does unemployment. Brazil’s current unemployment rate is 13.3%, while wages have skyrocketed to a real wage index of 107.3 during the first half of 2020.

The loss of these lower paying jobs has been extremely widespread, most negatively impacting informal workers, self-employed vendors, and migrant workers. Some policymakers have seen this as an opportunity to call for universal basic income. Even with job retention schemes to keep unemployment steady, many people are earning far less income and may never return to normal working hours in their current positions.

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Ranked: Which NHL Team Takes Home the Most Revenue?

The Oilers are the second-highest earning team in the NHL and the Panthers are 26th. We show the top teams in the NHL by revenue in 2023.

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Visualization of NHL team revenues

Which NHL Team Takes Home the Most Revenues?

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

This graphic shows every NHL team’s revenue from the 2022/23 season using data from Forbes, compiled by JP Morgan Asset Management.

Ranked: The Highest-Earning NHL Teams

As the final round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs wears on, two teams on different ends of the revenue spectrum face off.

Despite representing a much smaller city than the other teams at the top of the ranking, the Edmonton Oilers have the second highest revenue in the league at $281 million. The Oilers have seen the fastest revenue growth over the past five years (13%) as the team has improved.

Team2022-23 Season RevenueValuation
Toronto Maple Leafs$281M$2.8B
Edmonton Oilers$281M$1.9B
Los Angeles Kings$279M$2.0B
New York Rangers$265M$2.7B
Montreal Canadiens$265M$2.3B
New Jersey Devils$240M$1.5B
Boston Bruins$239M$1.9B
Vegas Golden Knights$233M$1.1B
Chicago Blackhawks$228M$1.9B
Philadelphia Flyers$219M$1.7B
Washington Capitals$218M$1.6B
Dallas Stars$210M$1.1B
Pittsburgh Penguins$207M$1.2B
Detroit Red Wings$199M$1.2B
Vancouver Canucks$198M$1.3B
Seattle Kraken$197M$1.2B
Tampa Bay Lightning$196M$1.3B
Minnesota Wild$185M$1.1B
St Louis Blues$184M$1.0B
New York Islanders$183M$1.6B
Calgary Flames$183M$1.1B
Colorado Avalanche$182M$1.2B
Nashville Predators$180M$1.0B
Carolina Hurricanes$177M$0.8B
Anaheim Ducks$164M$0.9B
Winnipeg Jets$162M$0.8B
Florida Panthers$161M$0.8B
Buffalo Sabres$159M$0.8B
San Jose Sharks$158M$0.9B
Columbus Blue Jackets$151M$0.8B
Ottawa Senators$128M$1.0B
Arizona Coyotes$120M$0.5B

In the 2022/23 season, the Florida Panthers pulled off a major upset in the first round of the playoffs and fought their way to the finals before losing to the Vegas Golden Knights.

Despite the success last season, the Panthers still find themselves in the bottom six in this ranking, with $161 million in revenue. The team also has the second lowest operating income in the league, after Ottawa. Florida is an emerging hockey market though, with revenue increasing 9% over the past five years.

Other Hockey Revenue Highlights

  • Along with the Oilers, the Toronto Maple Leafs sit at the top of the revenue ranking. There is a key difference though: the Maple Leafs have a higher valuation-to-revenue multiple (10x vs 6.6x).
  • Professional hockey remains attractive to advertisers. In the 2022/23 season, team-specific sponsorship revenue was 36% higher than in 2018/19.
  • The team with the lowest revenue, the Arizona Coyotes, will be moving to Utah next season.
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