While researching GDP and per capita incomes for international cities, I was surprised to find the following article from the City Mayors website. The survery ranks world cities by average wages received:
"The world’s richest cities in 2006 In UBS' international comparison, North American workers earn the highest wages, with workers in Western Europe close at their heels. In general, however, European net earnings are significantly below the disposable incomes levels enjoyed by Americans, due to higher taxes and social security contributions. One noteworthy exception to this trend is Ireland, which has relatively low payroll taxes. Less surprising is the fact that South Americans and Africans receive comparatively low compensation on average for the work they perform; pay in developing and emerging market countries is only a fraction of that in the industrialized nations.
The highest gross wages are paid in Scandinavia – Copenhagen and Oslo – followed by Switzerland, whose citizens also enjoy lower payroll tax deductions. Nowhere in the world do workers get more from their pay than in Zurich after mandatory deductions. But a net salary is not necessarily fully available for private consumption: there may be further “hidden” costs in our cities that are not covered by basic taxes and social contributions.
Within Europe alone there are dramatic differences in wage and salary levels. In Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, wages are similar to those paid in India or Kenya. Wage inequalities between Eastern and Western Europe are a double-edged concern: workers from the East are moving to the West in search of higher pay, while new manufacturing capacity is being added in the East to take advantage of the much lower wages there.
Compared with the survey taken three years ago, little has changed among the top-ranked cities in terms of highest gross pay, except for the inclusion now of London among the world's Top Ten. The lowest average wages can still be found in Manila, Delhi, Mumbai, Jakarta and Bangkok. (Report by UBS)
New York 100.0
Los Angeles 97.0
Hong Kong 34.9
Sao Paulo 29.0
Santiago de Chile 24.3
Rio de Janeiro 21.2
Buenos Aires 18.0
Methodology: Effective hourly wages for 14 professions, weighted according to distributions. Net after deduction of taxes and social security constributions."
Accordingly, these wages have fluctuated over the past three years, though it is interesting to note where the richest cities are, especially that of Dublin, where depopulation has been almost constant over the past century. The effects of the two World Wars and reconstruction are noticeable, though declining, showing real progress.