Hong Kong raised minimum wage. How long do we need to work for to buy a Big Mac?
Hong Kong raised the Statutory Minimum Wage from HKD 32.50 per hour to HKD 34.50 per hour, starting May 1, 2017. Previously, we compared the minimum wages of different cities and countries by calculating how many hours a person needs to work to afford a Big Mac. Such calculation illustrates the wage level between two cities or countries and provides a test of the extent to which market wage level results in goods costing the same in different cities or countries.
The table below compares the minimum wage and the price of Big Mac in different cities and countries with the most updated figures. It helps us to understand the value of minimum wage around the world. In Hong Kong, it requires a person to work for 34 minutes to afford a Big Mac while in France, it only takes the person to work for 22 minutes. Compared to other developed cities and countries, the minimum wage in Hong Kong is the lowest but not by much.
The calculation provides an overview of the minimum wage level - one should note that it did not take into account the assistance and welfare provided by different governments for low-income individuals and families.