Apr 3, 2014

WSJ's flawed story comparing US and Indian salaries

WSJ has an India focused blog called India Realtime, and its journalist Preetika Rana recently posted a story comparing US and Indian salaries. However she did add a caveat.

True, wages are relative to purchasing power parity, and differ from country to country, but the pay gap between India and the U.S. has been cause of a recent rift between the world’s two largest democracies. Earlier this year, a Manhattan court indicted a New York-based Indian diplomat for alleged visa fraud after she was accused of underpaying her Indian domestic helper. The maid, who was paid close to $7,000 a year, appeared to be getting a slave wage to some Americans, but in India, her pay was more than what most lawyers make, and much more than what anyone pays their domestic help.

So based on this one incident she goes on to compare average salaries between some US occupations as published by the US Department of Labor and salary data for the same roles for about five year experience published by India based jobsite Naukri.com 

Let's see what's flawed with this data.

According to this Human resources managers earn an average salary of US$ 111,180 in the US and US $ 4,166 in India. 

While the US data is published in detail here, it does not say that these HR Managers have a five year experience. 

According to the Naukri data Indian HR Managers, earn an average salary less than Rupees 300,000 per annum which seems at first glance to be very flawed. 

So I headed off to Glassdoor to search for HR Manager salaries, and this is what I found. 

Median salary is Rs. 675,000, the lowest was Rs. 320,000 and highest was Rs. 1.25 million. 

After this I headed to Payscale India and searched for mid-career salaries for HR Manager, and this is what I found.

This seemed to reflect much in line with the Glassdoor data compared to what the WSJ data.

I suggest the next time a publication like the WSJ does a story like this they choose better data sources than a jobsite.