Do you earn around 2,500 euros a month? So you are average. In fact, the average French salary for the year 2020 is exactly 2,518 euros net per month for full-time work in the private sector, according to a study by the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (Insee) published on April 26.
But behind this figure there is more complexity. Therefore, about 80% of employees earn between the minimum wage (1,219 euros) and 3,400 euros per month, again according to the INSEE study. In detail, one in ten employees earns less than € 1,343 net per month, while one in ten earns more than € 4,033.
“Wages are constantly rising. The minimum wage plays an important role in this as it serves as the basis for collective bargaining, ”recalls Clémence Berson, researcher in labor economics at the Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Public Policy Evaluation (LIEPP): research platform at Sciences Po.
The median net monthly salary (before tax) was 2,005 euros in the private sector in 2020, an increase of 2.7% in one year.
A progression of wages that differs according to the professions
In a context of inflation, the salary therefore increased by an average of 3.2% in one year. But let’s not rejoice so quickly. These data derive more “from temporary variations in the composition of employment, attributable to the health crisis, than from individual wage increases”, writes INSEE.
During the health crisis, the least skilled (and lowest wage) jobs were most affected by these changes in employment. The people most inclined to work part-time were in fact employees and workers, who were in fact less favorable to teleworking than managers. “Low-paid jobs have been suspended or reclassified as partial unemployment. As a result, only the best-paid employees remained in business; this is called the composition effect ”, explains Clémence Berson, specifying that this study excludes part-time jobs and therefore the least paid.
Thus, again in 2020, wages increased differently according to socio-professional categories (CSP): + 2% for managers, + 1.9% for employees, + 1.4% for intermediate professions and + 0.7% for workers. But the average monthly net salary also differs according to the sector of activity: it is therefore 2,773 euros in industry, 2,275 euros in construction and 2,485 euros in the service sector.
And of course, the more executives there are in the industry, the higher the average salary. Therefore, € 3,750 in finance, € 3,583 in information-communication, but € 1,681 in the scientific and technical sector (where there are more workers).
Women, still the big losers, but it gets better
If you prefer to refer to the net average hourly wage, the latter stands at € 16.30 for the entire private sector in 2020; or an increase of 3.6% compared to 2019. Once again the differences differ according to the CSP: “That of managers, at 28.30 euros net on average, is about 2.5 times higher than that of employees (11, 6 euros) and workers (12 euros) ”, announces INSEE in its office.
And this general upward trend should continue, or even increase due to inflation and the automatic rise of the SMIC: “A recent increase took place on May 1st. The Banque de France estimates that wages will increase by around 3.5% in 2022 “, warns Clémence Berson.
Note that inequalities persist and that women earn even less than men: 15.2% less that year, writes INSEE. “This gap has narrowed by 0.9 points compared to 2019 and by 5.7 points since 2008,” adds INSEE.
This very slight decrease in the wage gap between men and women in 2020 “is partly explained by the payments of the Pepa bonuses (purchasing power bonus, known as the” Macron bonus “) and Covid which benefited women the most”.
Therefore, the average monthly net salary in the private sector amounts to € 1,881 for women, while it is € 2,101 for men; a difference of 220 euros per month.
Infographic source: Capital
And the higher the salaries, the greater the gaps: 1% of men working in the private sector earn more than € 10,847 net per month, compared to € 7,698 for the top-paid 1% of women in the private sector. The latter represent only 21.3% of the 1% of the best paid employees, compared to 41.6% of all employees in the private sector …
“Women work in lower-paid jobs, with atypical and low-skilled hours. But we see that even if many initiatives are taken, with the same roles and skills, a man earns more than a woman… And this gap does not decrease ”, warns the specialist in the segmentation of the labor market.