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Workers miss out on extra hours

Too few staff manage to find extra work – and Society in France survey shows pay rises have slowed down

ONE worker in six wants to work more hours but a country-wide survey has found too few are managing.

The annual Society in France survey by statistics body Insee showed that of the 16% of workers who wanted to work longer just one in two had succeeded.

In all, 3.3million people, mostly young, non-skilled workers and shop staff, wanted longer hours. Today, a quarter of those working part-time have managed to switch to full-time but only one in 10 of those working full-time managed any increase.

Pay increases have also slipped back, with rises slowing down since 2007, and the average pay in 2010 was €19,500 (after social charges). For the 25% best-paid, the average was €39,290 - which is 10 times the pay of the lowest-paid.

Labourers get an average of €14,380, teachers and nurses €22,060 and managers €39,310. For the poorest paid, 20% of the total, their salaries were made up with other benefits such as unemployment pay or pensions.

The survey also highlighted the devastating effect of severe illness on a family’s prosperity: with one year off work (eg. for sickness) meaning a 20% drop in assets, compared to a 4% drop after being unemployed for a year.

One in three households manages a good lifestyle on their income but does not have financial assets to match; while nearly half of households (mostly in farming) have a poorer lifestyle but significant assets.

The impact of retirement was shown with people reducing spending significantly, increasing saving (so as not to be a burden on their children) and renewing household equipment for the final time – along with their car. Once retired, they see that rent, heating and electicity become their major daily expenses with food, holidays and clothing being cut back.

Alcohol consumption was, however, maintained.

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