How inflation disrupts the low wage issue

His beginnings as a security guard, Alexandre Cornu, 45, remembers him perfectly. «Taken on September 19, 2000. Paid around 7,000 francs! Yes, it was still the Franks at the time! “, he smiles behind his thin glasses, one of which is broken. At the time it was the minimum wage. Alexandre was then at the first level of the wage grid. “I thought I would have a good evolution in this job, I was wrong”he blurts out bitterly. Today a fire officer in one of the defense towers, he has climbed two steps in rank. But, after twenty-two years of experience, he earns the minimum wage again: “recovered” from the minimum wage, as he says, which has risen faster than his salary.

This is one of the side effects of inflation that the latest INSEE estimate measures in France at 5.6% over one year in September, after 5.9% in August and even 6.1% in July. Since its creation in 1950, the minimum wage has been indexed to the consumer price index and increases when the latter does the same. In a “normal” year there is only one revision, on the 1uh January. But, since 2021, you have known four: a 1uh October 2021, 1uh January 2022, to 1uh May and again on 1uh August, or a total of + 7.76% over one year, which represents 98.45 euros more net per month. The minimum wage is now 11.07 euros gross per hour, or 1,678.95 euros gross per month.

Read also: Article reserved for our members “With inflation, those who are just above find themselves caught, even exceeded, by the minimum wage, generating a feeling of downgrading”

However, 7.76% is still more than inflation in a year. Because the minimum inter-professional growth wage is not only indexed to the consumer price index but also in part to increases in the average hourly wage of workers and employees. Furthermore, its level serves as the basis for the entire low-wage architecture in France.

A choice made to prevent the minimum wage from being extinguished, as was the case for its ancestor, the smig (guaranteed minimum wage), between 1951 and 1967. It then progressed much less rapidly than the average French wage driven by growth and earnings. productivity. Since 1982, the level of the minimum wage has stabilized between 58% and 63% of the average wage. In addition to this automatic increase, since 2007 there has been only one further “push” after the election of François Hollande. Since then, we have been rigorously satisfied with the legal reassessment. More favorable in times of inflation.

For 2022, the latest data available from the Directorate of Animation, research, studies and statistics of the Ministry of Labor indicate that the basic hourly wage of workers and employees had increased, at the end of June, by 3.5% in one year, and the basic monthly salary of all employees by 3.1%. “Since the minimum wage is indexed to prices, not the rest of wages, and which are not increasing at the same rate for the moment, we are seeing a narrowing of the gap between the minimum wage and the rest of the wages.emphasizes Jérôme Gautié, professor of economics at Paris-I-Panthéon-Sorbonne. This creates a phenomenon of wage flattening at the lower levels of the hierarchy, in the private sector as well as in the public sector. “

You still have 72.45% of this article to read. The following is for subscribers only.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *