NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today UBS is releasing the 16th edition of its UBS Prices and Earnings study, which examines prices, wages and earners' purchasing power in 71 cities worldwide. The study, published roughly every three years since 1971, compiles over 68,000 data points reflecting economic events that have shaped the world since the last edition in 2012.
The most expensive cities
Zurich, Geneva and New York City are the most expensive cities in the world, according to the prices for a standardized basket of 122 goods and services. New York is the third-most expensive, excluding rent, and rises to the top spot when rent is included. Chicago is the seventh priciest, including and excluding rent. Miami and Los Angeles are in 16th and 17th places, respectively, and 11th and 13th including rent. By contrast, the cost of living is lowest in certain Eastern European cities such as Kiev, which is the cheapest city.
The highest wages
Workers in Zurich, Geneva and Luxembourg earn the highest gross wages. New York earns the fourth highest. Miami is ranked fifth, Los Angeles ninth, and Chicago 10th. After taxes and social security contributions, Copenhagen loses 20 spots in the rankings, due to income deductions of around 45%. In Nairobi, Jakarta and Kiev, the lowest-ranked cities, workers receive only around 5% of average gross earnings in Zurich.
How many hours' earnings buy a Big Mac® or an iPhone?
Wage value is best described by comparing domestic purchasing power for goods that are as homogenous as possible worldwide. Salaries go farthest in Luxembourg, Zurich and Geneva, where the net hourly wage buys the most goods and services from the standardized basket. Nairobi and Jakarta have the lowest purchasing power, with workers there able to afford just one-tenth as much as those in Luxembourg. New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami are among just seven major cities globally where the average worker has to work less than 30 hours to earn enough to buy an iPhone 6.
Shortest working hours in Paris
People work over 2,000 hours per year in 19 major cities, most of them in Asia and the Middle East. The shortest working schedule and highest number of days of paid vacation are enjoyed by workers in Western Europe. Workers in Hong Kong work 1,000 more hours than those in Paris, a difference of around four hours per working day. Of the US cities in the study, the average worker in Chicago and Los Angeles has the least amount of paid vacation a year at 14 days.
Impact of recent economic events
The Swiss National Bank abandoned its price floor for the euro versus the Swiss franc in January, which had a big impact on the indicators. Zurich and Geneva rose to the top of the rankings. Eurozone cities plunged. Russian and Ukrainian cities plummeted due to the Ukrainian conflict and ensuing Russian sanctions, with Kiev now at the bottom of the price and wage charts. Instability in South America greatly affected exchange rates, altering the positions of cities such as São Paulo and Buenos Aires. In Asia, the Japanese yen lost value, but the South Korean won has appreciated versus the US dollar since 2012, meaning Tokyo now ranks lower and Seoul higher. Asia remains the continent with the largest variations in prices and wages among cities, while North America is still the most uniform.
Prices and Earnings historical data now freely available
The 2015 edition of Prices and Earnings is available on a new microsite, www.ubs.com/pricesandearnings, which for the first time also offers free access to all raw data from the initial report in 1971 up to the current one. Prices and Earnings is also available as an iOS application, and in a digital UBS Newsstand version.
For general questions, or access to our data set, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
UBS is committed to providing private, institutional and corporate clients worldwide, as well as retail clients in Switzerland, with superior financial advice and solutions while generating attractive and sustainable returns for shareholders. Its strategy centers on its Wealth Management and Wealth Management Americas businesses and its leading universal bank in Switzerland, complemented by its Global Asset Management business and its Investment Bank. These businesses share three key characteristics: they benefit from a strong competitive position in their targeted markets, are capital-efficient, and offer a superior structural growth and profitability outlook. UBS's strategy builds on the strengths of all of its businesses and focuses its efforts on areas in which it excels, while seeking to capitalize on the compelling growth prospects in the businesses and regions in which it operates. Capital strength is the foundation of its success.
Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, UBS has offices in more than 50 countries, including all major financial centers, and approximately 60,000 employees. UBS Group AG is the holding company of the UBS Group. Under Swiss company law, UBS Group AG is organized as an Aktiengesellschaft, a corporation that has issued shares of common stock to investors. The operational structure of the Group comprises the Corporate Center and five business divisions: Wealth Management, Wealth Management Americas, Retail & Corporate, Global Asset Management and the Investment Bank.