Who takes top dollar?

WASHINGTON: Residents of Zurich know that their country has more to offer than world-class chocolate and precision watches. They can now brag that, on the whole, they earn more than anyone in the world. Zurich-dwellers rake in $22.60 per hour in average net pay, according to a wage survey released August 19. The runner-up was Geneva, where jobs pay $20.40 per hour.

Though Swiss cities provide the most cash to workers, they are not the most expensive locales for employers to set up shop. Workers in glittering Copenhagen command the highest gross pay, at an average of $32.80 per hour.

Employees in Zurich and Geneva not only take home top dollar, they buy the most with their earnings. Factoring in local prices, they blow away any other international city in terms of what workers can get for their money.

Working life in Mumbai marks the other end of

the spectrum. Because

of its $1.20 average

hourly wage, the impoverished urban centre trails the list of 73 cities compiled in the Prices and Earnings report, released every three years.

UBS arrived at its rankings by studying the wages, taxes and working hours of 14 occupations across 73 world cities. Schoolteachers have a very different lifestyle

in Berlin, where they

earn an average of $35,800 per year after taxes, than they do in Bucharest, where the same work nets them only $4,100. A female factory worker brings in $18,200 in Chicago, but less than a tenth of that—$1,800 —in Cairo.

To measure each city's quality of life, researchers looked not only at gross salaries, but what workers brought home after taxes,

Best-Paid cities

• Zurich, Switzerland

Net pay per hour: $22.60

• Geneva, Switzerland

Net pay per hour: $20.40

• New York

Net pay per hour: $19

• Dublin

Net pay per hour: $18.70

• Luxembourg

Net pay per hour: $18.20