These data come from a publication issued by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, based on the latest results of the four-yearly Structure of Earnings Survey4. This survey provides detailed information on the structure and the distribution of earnings in the EU.
Low-wage earners: 21% of female employees, 13% of male…
There are large differences between men and women regarding the proportion of low-wage earners. In the EU27 in 2010, 21.2% of female employees were low-wage earners, compared with 13.3% of male employees. In all Member States, except Bulgaria, there was a larger share of female employees who were low-wage earners than male. The highest proportions for women were registered in Cyprus (31.4%), Estonia (30.1%), Lithuania (29.4%), Germany and Latvia (both 28.7%) and the United Kingdom (27.6%), and the smallest in Sweden (3.1%), France (7.9%), Finland (8.0%) and Denmark (9.8%).
…29% of employees with a low level of education, 6% with a high level…
The level of education plays an important role: the lower the level, the higher is the likelihood of being a low-wage earner. In the EU27 in 2010, 29.0% of employees with a low6 education level were low-wage earners, compared with 19.3% of those with a medium6 level and 5.8% of those with a high6 level. More than half of employees with a low level of education in Germany (54.6%) and Slovakia (51.5%) were low wage earners, and almost half in Romania (49.4%).
…31% of employees with a fixed term contract and 16% with an indefinite contract
The type of contract also has a significant impact. In the EU27 in 2010, 31.3% of employees with a contract of limited duration were low-wage earners, compared with 15.7% for those with an indefinite contract. In all Member States, except Estonia and Cyprus, the pattern was the same. The largest proportions of low-wage earners among employees with a contract of limited duration were observed in the Netherlands (47.9%), Poland (42.5%), Germany (38.0%), Bulgaria (36.9%), Hungary and the United Kingdom (both 36.4%).