Even in countries where market forces set wage rates first, studies show that there are still differences in pay for work, based on gender and race. For example, in 2007, according to the U.S. Bureau of Laboratory Statistics, women of all races accounted for about 80 percent of the median wage of their male counterparts. This is probably due to the supply and demand of women in the market due to family obligations.  Similarly, white men earned about 84% of the salary of Asian men and black men 64%.  These are overall averages and are not adapted to the nature, scale and quality of the work performed. Workers may also receive tips or gratuities paid directly by customers and benefits to workers that are non-monetary forms of remuneration. Since wage labour is the predominant form of work, the term „wage“ sometimes refers to all forms (or monetary forms) of employee compensation. Depending on the structure and traditions of different economies around the world, wage rates are influenced by market forces (supply and demand), work organization, legislation and tradition.
Market forces may be more dominant in the United States, while tradition, social structure, and seniority may play a more important role in Japan.  Seventy-five million workers earned hourly wages in the United States in 2012, representing 59% of the workforce.  In the United States, the wages of most workers are determined by market forces or by collective bargaining where a union negotiates on behalf of the workers. The Fair Labor Standards Act establishes a minimum wage at the federal level that all states must comply with, among other things. Fourteen states and a number of cities have set their own minimum wage rates above the federal level. .