Économie et Statistique n° 344 Stock option taxation - Internal migrations in France - Jobs in the service sector - Large specialist stores

Economie et Statistique
Paru le : 01/10/2001
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Marked job segmentation in the service sector

Chantal Cases et Nathalie Missègue

Service jobs are often wrongfully seen as lower quality jobs than industrial jobs. Yet job requirements and wages differ enormously from one service activity to the next. Computer services, professional services (accounting, legal and consultancy activities), research and development, housing rental and audiovisual activities generally offer well-paid, full-time and stable jobs demanding a high level of skills. Conversely, the most «underprivileged» jobs are found more in businesses such as hotels, cafés, restaurants, personal services, caretaking, private postal services, security and cleaning. Jobs are also highly diverse within each service activity. The workforce is polarised in the way described by the dualist labour flexibility model. At one end of the scale, core employees (management and specialists) have a relatively favourable status (stability, skills and remuneration). At the other end, the peripheral staff give the workforce its main room for flexibility (part-time work, short-term contracts, and lower skills and wages). This internal segmentation of jobs is traditionally found in one form or another in one-third of sectors ranging from real estate through professional legal, accountancy and consultancy services to fast food and bars, to name but a few. The other service activities differ in terms of a flexibility that also concerns executives (in audiovisual) and can be voluntary as in information technology.

Economie et Statistique
No 344
Paru le : 01/10/2001