[Developing countries] The developing world still depends on raw materials for the majority of its export earnings. But in the last ten years, real prices, and hence wages, the developing world's principal commodities, including fuels, minerals, jute, rubber, coffee, cocoa, tea oils, fats, tobacco, and timber have fallen by approximately 30%. The per capita income of the average Latin American is 9% lower today than it was in 1980. In some countries the standard of living has slipped back to what it was 20 years ago; one third of Latin America's population, 130 million people, live in dire poverty.
[Industrialized countries] A 1991 study in the USA concluded that there had been broad-based wage reductions during recovery from the recession, including severe declines for both blue and white collar men and for both college-educated and school-educated workers. The real wages of most groups had decreased over the previous 20 years had decreased among men, notably amongst the less well-educated. A 1994 ECE report confirmed that cuts in income levels in western market economies had been most severe for unskilled workers in the USA, where real wages in the lowest-paid 10 percent of jobs fell by more than 1 percent a year in the 1980s, and in the UK where social protection had been reduced significantly during the previous decade.