The top earners in the private sector
In 2007, 1% of French full-time employees-the highest-paid category of the private sector-earned an annual average salary of €215,600. These “top earners” receive seven times the average full-time pay. They consist mainly of business executives, finance professionals, and sales/marketing professionals. They are relatively older than other paid employees, most of them work in the Paris Region, and they often live in the districts west of Paris. While the proportion of women is rising, it remains modest at 13%. The top earners already in employment in 2002 enjoyed substantial pay rises in the five years that followed. Their average annual gains in constant euros came to 5.8% for those already at the top of the pay scale in 2002 and 14.5% for those who reached that level during the period 2002-2007, versus an average 2.3% for all paid employees having worked continuously in that period.