Be Norwegian or Australian if you want a raise

Workers in Australia and Norway are getting pay raises, and they are getting paid for staying on the job, not greater productivity.

The Economist published the OECD's study of salaries and wages worldwide, Unit Labour Costs and Related Indicators. The study, release in mid-September, looked at unit labour to assess wage trends worldwide.

"Unit labour costs are the best estimate of staffing costs faced by firms. They represent the amount of money needed to pay your staff to make one unit of output, one widget. This is a function of two elements, the cost of the staff—their hourly wages—and the speed at which they make widgets, their productivity," writes the Economist.

Whereas some countries showed moderate to low wage inflation, resource-rich Australia and Norway showed rising wages and falling productivity, indicative of a country with not enough workers and an industry that can't be moved to a jurisdiction with lower paid workers, in this case a mine.

Matthew Yglesias, writing for Think Progress, believes that these countries are seeing diminishing marginal returns since the easiest stuff has been mined, and there has been no significant technological advancement to get the ore out of the ground more cheaply.

Of course another way to get a raise is to become a mining CEO.