Private-sector workers saw net wages rise an average 4.9% in the decade 2011-21, while public employees saw a rise of 2.1%, a report from the state statistics agency Insee shows.
The study includes the effects of the Covid pandemic, highlighting a fall in the private-sector wage bill in 2020, followed by a sharp rise in 2021.
Similarly, the pandemic led to wage rises for public-sector workers attached to hospitals, mainly in the form of bonuses, and then rises agreed in the Ségur de la santé consultation process, which aimed to improve the day-to-day lives of healthcare professionals.
Minimum wage rises help reduce disparity
A further Insee report states that in 2022 half of private sector employees receive less than €2,091 net per month in full-time equivalent pay.
One in ten employees earns less than €1,436 net while one in ten receives more than €4,162 net.
During 2022, only the purchasing power of the lowest salaries was maintained, thanks to the increases in the minimum wage in line with inflation - this means salary disparities have decreased.
The minimum wage in France was increased again on January 1, 2024 to €1,398.70 net per month.
What about gender pay gap in France?
Insee also looked at the gender pay gap, finding that women doing the same or equivalent jobs in the private sector earned, on average, 14.5% less than men during the period.
In 1996, they earned 22.4% less.
The report said: “This gap is partially due to structural differences in the workplace between men and women, in particular by the sectors they work and levels of qualification.”
In government jobs, the gender wage gap was 11.3%, compared to 14.3% in 1996.
Average net salary lower in public sector
All statistics in the report were adjusted to account for changes in the purchasing power of the euro during the period.
An earlier Insee report, published in June, found the average net salary in 2021 was €2,520 in the private sector and €2,380 in the public sector.