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Un panorama des bas salaires et de la qualité de l'emploi peu qualifié en France

  • Philippe Askenazy

    (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics, IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor - IZA, Centre de recherche de la Banque de France - Banque de France, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC))

  • Eve Caroli


    (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC), EconomiX - CNRS - UP10 - Université Paris 10, Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense)

  • Jérôme Gautié


    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS)

This research provides a picture of job quality in low-skilled jobs in France today. We focus on working, employment and pay conditions of lower-skilled workers in the least paid jobs. We first show that the incidence of low-wage work is reduced in France as compared to the USA, but also to other EU countries. This incidence has been decreasing in the past 15 years, but it remains concentrated on specific groups of workers. The reasons for this relative compression of wages at the bottom of the distribution have to do with the existence of a national minimum wage (the so-called SMIC) and with the existence of specific labour market policies. In contrast, working conditions have worsened in recent times, in particular in low-skilled, low-paid jobs. Mental strain has increased a lot, together with painful working conditions, due to work intensification. This trend is common to many developed countries, but it is particularly pervasive and persistent in France. This intensification generates increasing job dissatisfaction which particularly focuses on wages, the level of which is seen as insufficient with respect to the efforts that are required. Job quality in France is also affected by "professional precariousness" which concentrates on lower-skilled workers. Our research provides evidence of various forms of precariousness. It encompasses job security, of course, for temporary workers who are often much less protected than one would think when looking at aggregate EPL indicators. Beyond this, it extends to employment and pay conditions. Overall, the feeling of precariousness experienced by workers tends to raise the demand for employment protection and hence the attachment to the law in a country where trade-unions are weak and often divided.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number halshs-00567693.

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Date of creation: Jul 2009
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Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00567693
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