Non-skilled white- and blue-collar workers : living standards one-quarter below the average for paid employees

Yves Jauneau, division Études sociales, Insee

One in five French paid employees was a non-skilled white- or blue-collar worker in 2007, representing a total of 5.5 million paid employees. From non-skilled industrial blue-collar workers to home-based personal care workers, the occupations in this category are very diverse. But non-skilled white- and blue-collar workers have in common the fact that they are more often employed under short-term contracts, in a part-time capacity, or on a under-employment basis than other paid employees. These less favourable employment conditions explain part of the negative 44-point gap in their annual wage income with average earnings of paid employees. The gap narrows when total resources of other household members as well as social contributions and benefits are taken into account. All in all, the average living standard of a non-skilled white- or blue-collar worker is 24 % lower than that of the average paid employee. Thirteen percent of non-skilled white- and blue-collar workers live below the poverty line, twice as many as the average for paid employees. In particular, one-quarter of female non-skilled white- and blue-collar workers living alone or as single mothers are poor. Fourteen percent of non-skilled white- and blue-collar workers would like to have another job in addition to or instead of their current job, chiefly to increase their earnings.

Insee Première
No 1250
Paru le : 22/07/2009