France is one of the developed countries where inequalities have widened the most with the crisis

THE ECO SCAN – The rise of precarious jobs, which put pressure on wages, worsened the gaps between the wealthiest and the poorest households between 2007 and 2011, according to an OECD report published on Thursday. Women are particularly vulnerable.

Who has suffered the most from in France? Between 2007 and 2011, the increased more markedly in the Hexagon than in the other countries of the, according to the report “All concerned, Why less inequality benefits all” published by the organization this Thursday. France’s Gini * coefficient, which measures the differences in wealth and income between individuals, fell from 0.293 to 0.309 over this period. “This is a major break with the long-term trend, since since the 1980s, inequalities were relatively stable in France, while they were increasing in a number of countries, such as Germany or the United States ”, note the authors. In 2013, the situation improved slightly, with the index falling to 0.306. Inequalities in France are close to the OECD average.

Concretely, during the crisis, the inequalities in terms of “merchants”, that is to say before and social benefits, climbed by 2.9%. This is the fifth largest increase among the 36 OECD countries. France is placed not far behind the top three – Spain, Ireland and Greece hard hit by the crisis – and just behind Estonia. The French-style redistribution system, in particular the increases in deployment from 2009, however mitigated this increase. As a result, in terms of disposable household income, inequalities increased by 1.6%. France is still in the top 5 of the strongest increases, far behind Spain, but in a pocket handkerchief with Sweden (which has cut back on its allowances and other benefits), Slovakia and Hungary.

“The 10% of people with the lowest incomes have suffered the crisis more severely,” notes the OECD. Their income has fallen by 1% per year on average. Conversely, the 10% of people with the highest incomes saw their income increase by 2% per year on average between 2007 and 2011. This is twice as fast as in the OECD as a whole ( + 1%).

How to explain this gap? “Inequalities in primary income, the main source of which is labor income, have increased (…) more under the pressure of wages than that of rising unemployment”, replies the organization. The market has completely redesigned itself during the crisis, with the emergence of “non-standard jobs”, ie temporary contracts, part-time and self-employed workers. A third of the employed population in France was in one of these situations in 2013, according to the report. These people, adds the OECD, “are penalized in terms of remuneration compared to people in standard jobs.” A temporary worker earns, for example, 40% less on average per year than a full-time worker on a permanent contract.

Non-standard employment, and more particularly temporary employment, has the particularity in France of being more rarely a springboard towards standard employment.

OECD report “Everyone concerned, Why less inequality benefits everyone”

Women and young people working part-time

And the chance to get out of this form of precariousness is quite limited. “Non-standard employment, and more particularly temporary employment, has the particularity in France of being more rarely a springboard towards standard employment.” Thus, 20% of temporary or fixed-term employees in 2008 had moved to a permanent job in 2011. A rate which reached 30% in Austria and 48% in Great Britain.

In addition to precarious workers, women particularly suffer from these inequalities. First, because they occupy the vast majority (at 63%) of these famous non-standard jobs. The average is more balanced within the OECD: 55% women for 45% men. The contingent of these workers in France is also younger, 46% being between 15 and 29 years old. “The pay gap between women and men has not narrowed in France since 2000”, also notes the report. Women earn 14% less than men in France. This is a much more glaring gap than in Norway (7%), Denmark (8%), Spain (9%) or Italy (11%). France can however be happy to do better than Germany (17%) on this point.

* The Gini coefficient is 0 in the case of perfect equality (everyone has the same income) and 1 in a situation of extreme inequality (one person has all the income, the others have nothing).