Lower wages lure American jobs overseas.

Position:Graph Exercise

One of the hottest issues in the 2004 presidential campaign is that of American jobs moving overseas. Senator John Kerry, the likely Democratic presidential nominee, has sharply criticized this business practice and vows to end federal contracts with companies that ship jobs abroad. President Bush says the so called outsourcing of jobs is a natural part of the globalization of the world economy and promises to create new jobs to replace those that are sent to foreign countries.

Whatever the pros and cons of the issue, there is no denying the fact that lower wages in most other countries are attracting American companies that seek to lower their costs. The data in this graph compare basic wages for workers in manufacturing in the U.S., 10 other countries, and Hong Kong, which is part of China. Use the data in the graph to answer the questions below.


  1. The minimum wage in the United States is $5.15 per hour. In which of the other places is the hourly production wage slightly less than the U.S. minimum wage?


  2. Some countries in Western Europe have higher wages than the U.S. In Norway, for example, the average hourly wage for manufacturing workers is $22.66. About how much higher per hour is Norway's hourly wage than that in the U.S.?

    a $5.00

    b $5.60

    c $5.95

    d $6.35

  3. About how much lower is New Zealand's hourly wage than that of the United States?

    a 50%

    b 65%

    c 35%

    d 40%

  4. In 1998 the average Brazilian industrial worker earned $3.70 an hour. How much did Brazilian wages fall between 1998...

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