A smaller pay scale in the social economy
For the 2.3 million employees of France's “social economy” sector, the pay scale is smaller than in the private sector. In other words, the gap between the lowest and highest earnings is narrower. Employees of non-profit groups, who represent the largest category, tend to have fairly low wages. This is not solely due to the kinds of jobs they occupy and their fields of activity. They are also more often working part-time. One of the few sectors where average pay is higher than in the rest of the private sector is health, notably thanks to a nucleus of high-skilled jobs in research centres. In cooperative enterprises, mutual societies, and foundations, wages tend to be above average, but the pay scale is nevertheless smaller. One of the reasons is the organization of certain cooperative enterprises and mutual societies, particularly in the banking and insurance sector, which concentrate their highest-paid positions in private-law subsidiaries.