wage drift meaning

  "wage drift" in a sentence
noun [U]

(Economics )

the situation when the average level of wages earned rises faster than the rates of pay that have been agreed at a national level:

Wage drift consists of such things as overtime, bonuses and performance-related pay.

Wage drift leads to higher wage costs for employers and higher inflation.

evidence of wage drift

The tendency for the average level of wages actually paid to rise faster than wage rate. This may be due to increases in overtime, increases in special allowances, the operation of age-based salary scales, or up-grading of job descriptions. Wage drift is particularly likely during boom when labour is relatively scarce, and during periods of attempted wage control, which firms try to evade.
  • wage:    Noun: wage &n ...
  • drift:    Verb: drift & ...
  • drift in:    [American slang]to ...


  1. As Jacksonville loses factories, it loses a lever that props wages up, so all wages drift toward the restaurants'floor.
  2. It noted, though, that the recent strengthening of the currency has brought producer price inflation down and should reduce wage drift.
  3. "The increase in producer prices has begun to level off and wage drift is expected to be more subdued, " said the central bank.
  4. Turner was the first academic in Britain to consider the Swedish concept of wage drift ( the tendency of earnings to increase faster than agreed wage rates ).

Related Words

  1. wage assignment meaning
  2. wage bill meaning
  3. wage claim meaning
  4. wage concession meaning
  5. wage differential meaning
  6. wage earner meaning
  7. wage flexibility meaning
  8. wage floor meaning
  9. wage freeze meaning
  10. wage fund meaning
PC Version