Difference Between Wage and Income

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Wage and Income

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Two words, wage, and income, frequently conjure up images of parity in people's minds. Although they are frequently used synonymously, wages and income mean very different things.

Wage vs Income

The primary distinction between income and wages is that wages are exclusively given in exchange for labor. Contrarily, income can be obtained even if no effort is done. Depending on the work, duration, etc., there are a few more specific things that set these two apart from one another.

The amount of money received for predetermined labor completed in a certain amount of time is typically tied to wage. It excludes any obligations or rights about the location or source of employment. It may be obtained daily, weekly, monthly, or occasionally even annually. The total amount of compensation that a worker receives in a given year is considered to be their income. It is often the amount of money paid to a permanent employee who has official rights and responsibilities within the business where they work. It differs significantly from pay.

Difference Between Wage and Income in Tabular Form

Parameters of Comparison Wage Income
Meaning It is a set sum of money received in exchange for a specific amount of work. It is compensation received regularly for a specific period of employment.
Gain It cannot be obtained without labor. Sometimes you can get it without working.
Interval It might or might not be acquired regularly. It is obtained consistently.
Variation It might or might not get bigger over time. It gets better with practice and work.
Work Particularly for work, it is paid. It is compensated based on experience, work, and time.

What is Wage?

The phrase is frequently used throughout the world and primarily refers to payments and the type of currency. This term's ability to be employed in both its solitary form, waves, and its plural version, salaries, is interesting. This is undoubtedly not the case when the word income is used. The phrase was typically used to refer to a payment made to an employee who is paid hourly.

However, as the system has evolved, the term "wages" now refers to compensation for hourly-based work as well as daily, weekly, and even monthly work. In the same way that benefits, profits, and salaries are all short-term payments, the word "wage" is most frequently used to denote one. It differs greatly from income for this specific reason.

Wage does not even have to be very formal or official; it can be earned by performing menial tasks over time and being paid for them, or it can be determined at the time of hiring. People who work in these circumstances and receive pay as wages do not have any official rights under the employer.

Wages are the amount that is compensated to labor in economics for its contribution to the manufacturing process. Labor is a crucial component of production. All other variables, including land and capital, will go idle if there is no labor available to work. Thus, work was referred to by Karl Marx as the "generator of all value."

The majority of production, however, is the result of the combined efforts of various production factors, so labor cannot produce on its own. As a result, wage refers to the portion of the product that is paid to the labor engaged in its production.


A wage may be defined as the amount of money paid by an employer to employees under a written contract for services rendered. - Benham

The recompense provided to labor for its contribution to output is known as wages. - Adolph Hansen

The cost of using labor is the wage rate.- Connell McC

A wage is a price; it is the amount that an employer pays a worker in exchange for labor that is provided. - J. R. Turner

Types of Wages

Piece Wages

Piece wages are salaries paid for specific tasks completed by employees. The number of units the worker produces is taken into account when calculating the piece rate.

Time Wages

It is referred to as time wages if the worker is compensated for his or her labor in this manner. For instance, a time wage would apply if the worker received Rs. 35 per day.

Cash Wages

Cash wages are those that are given to employees in the form of cash. An example of cash wages is the wage that is paid to a worker.

Wages in Kind

It is referred to as a wage in kind when the worker receives payment in the form of goods as opposed to money. The demand for these wages is high in rural areas.

Contract Wages

In this type, the wages are predetermined at the outset for finished work. For instance, it would be considered contract wages if a contractor was informed that he would receive Rs. 25,000 for the construction of a building.

Concepts of Wages

The two main ideas in wages are as follows:

A. Nominal Wage:

B. Real Wage:

Money Wages or Nominal Wages

The term "money wages" or "nominal wages" refers to the total sum of money that a worker receives during production.

Real Wages

Real wages are calculated by converting money wages into goods and services that can be purchased with money. They refer to the benefits of an employee's line of work, or the number of necessities, comforts, and luxuries that the employee can demand in exchange for his services.

Clarification will come from an example. Let's say "A" earns Rs. 500 every month in salary throughout the year. Let's also assume that prices for the goods and services the worker purchases increase by an average of 50% by the halfway point of the year.

Real wages, or the consumption basket in terms of goods and services, are reduced by 50% even though the money wages remain unchanged. Along with the money wages, real wages also include additional supplementary benefits.

What is Income?

Income is a fairly formal word that is frequently used to describe employment connected to lucrative careers. viewed internally as the total amount of money a person makes in a year. All weekly, daily, and monthly payments as well as incentives, bonuses, and profits are included in this. Income is interesting because, in some cases, it can be obtained without working. This situation arises when the employer offers paid time off.

The employee still receives payment while they are on vacation or leave, and it is added to their salary. Many businesses do not offer paid leave, but interest is slowly growing in this option. Income is a very formal term, and it is typically believed that the recipient of a formal letter of income at the end of the year also has the rights of a company employee and even is required to follow certain formal regulations.

This can be avoided in terms of a salaried worker. A person's income must also meet an increased requirement over a predetermined period. Even when various individuals are performing the same duties and working on the same projects, it may vary. This variance is based on an employee's background and length of service with the organization.

Income is the money that a person or a business receives in exchange for their goods or services. Income may have several definitions depending on the situation, such as taxation, financial accounting, or economic research.

Most people include their wages and salaries, investment earnings, pension benefits, and other payments in their calculation of total income. The term "income" for businesses refers to all money earned from the sale of goods and services as well as any interest or dividends on the company's cash and other assets.

Economists employ a variety of definitions and methodologies for determining income. Regardless of whether their research focuses on earnings, savings, consumption, production, public finance, capital investment, or other related topics and subtopics, their concept of income will be in line with their research objective. People typically focus more on their own personal and business income, even though a macroeconomic measure of income is important for societal and policy studies.

Various expressions describe revenue depending on the amount being measured. The whole of a person's earnings or other payments—exclusive of any cash outlays—is their gross income. The amount of money left over after taxes and other costs have been paid is known as net income. The amount that remains after necessary expenses have been paid for is the discretionary income of individual wage earners.

Income is the term used to describe the various forms of revenue that are subject to income tax. Salaries and sales are typically regarded as a part of one's taxable income, but inheritances and gifts are typically not; these definitions may vary by jurisdiction.

Although there are some similarities between tax and accounting laws, each system has unique rules that reflect its context and aims. Financial accounting and taxation typically measure income over 12 months. Financial accounting income is comprehensive, but taxable income is determined using special statutory exclusions, exemptions, and allowances that depend on the taxpayer's tax situation, the source of their income, and their personal and professional choices.

The money a person earns through work or business activities, such as receiving a salary, self-employment income, or receiving certain government benefits, is known as earned income. This is not to be confused with unearned income, which includes inheritances, capital gains, and qualified dividends.

Unearned income is not taxed the same way as earned income. Earned income in the US is subject to payroll taxes, Medicare taxes, and Social Security taxes, though the latter is limited in amount.

Business Income: GAAP Income

The majority of firms, including all publicly traded companies, use generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), or conventional financial accounting procedures and practices, to calculate their revenue and value. Public enterprises must compile and submit audited financial statements in compliance with these regulations. The performance of organizations in the same or other industries is compared by investors using the financial statements of enterprises as a benchmark.

The kinds of departures from public policy that are reflected in the tax code are not taken into account by GAAP calculations. Different timing rules are used by the two systems to recognize revenue and expenses. The findings of tax accounting frequently paint a picture of business revenue and value that is far off from economic reality compared to the snapshot of income and business value produced using GAAP.

Taxable income is the sum of all earned income from all sources and in all forms, less any sums that are free from taxation or that can be deducted legally. The amount that must pay income tax is this. One of the simplest measurements of economic activity is income. It calculates the net increase in revenue that results from working or conducting business for people and businesses. The majority of taxation is based on income in public policy.

Main Differences Between Wage and Income in Points

  1. Income is viewed as a person's total earnings for the year, whereas a wage is a fixed payment that is paid based on work or duration.
  2. You cannot earn a wage without working. On the other hand, income can occasionally be obtained without the requirement of effort.
  3. While a wage might be paid daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly, income is the total amount earned over a year.
  4. Worker salaries may or may not rise over time. Contrarily, the income typically increases after a set period.
  5. While income is provided for a series of tasks completed over time, wages are paid for a single task.


There is no getting around the reality that the usage of the two phrases listed above can be confusing at times. But after examining the distinctions and comprehending each phrase, it becomes abundantly evident that wages and income are two very distinct concepts that should only be used in certain contexts. It can be confusing and provide the wrong idea to use the two names interchangeably.

Wages are simply the compensation received for hourly employment or work with no set end date. On the other hand, income is quite professionally defined as the total of all payments paid to a person over a year, whether or not they worked during that time.


  • https://www.jstor.org/stable/1924549


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"Difference Between Wage and Income." Diffzy.com, 2024. Mon. 13 May. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-wage-and-income-1102>.

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