China, Thailand, Vietnam top in unequal pay list


SINGAPORE — China, Thailand and Vietnam have the largest gaps between low- and high-paid workers in the world, according to a global study released Thursday by a management consulting firm.

Management last year made 11.8 times more than average staff in China, where the pay gap grew from 10.5 the year before, the Hay Group said. The rise pushed China from third place to first in the world rankings.

Vietnam’s pay gap narrowed from 11.7 to 9.8, improving its rankings from the worst to third. Thailand remained second as it saw its pay gap rise from 10.6 in 2006 to 10.7 in 2007.

Within the Asia-Pacific region, South Korea (3.7), New Zealand (3.3), Japan (3.3) and Australia (3.2) were among the countries with the smaller pay gaps. Singapore’s pay gap was 4.7 last year, down from 4.9 in 2006.

The smallest pay gaps were found in Norway (2.3), Canada (2.6) and Switzerland (2.6).

The U.S. gap widened from 3.1 to 3.7, making it the third-fastest growing pay gap in the world.