The figure is striking. Slightly more than one in five workers resident in Luxembourg City were living below the poverty line in 2020. In detail, 22.3% of all employees living in the capital, i.e. 11,243 people, two years ago were living on a monthly salary of €1,942 or less.
This information was revealed in a study by the Social Observatory. The study had been commissioned by the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (Liser) on request of the City of Luxembourg. Delivered last April by Liser, the report was recently published by the City of Luxembourg on its website. During a round table organised by Liser on 20 October on the subject of in-work poverty, several figures from the report were highlighted.
Bonnevoie-Sud, a mixed neighbourhood
According to Eurostat figures and Liser's analysis, the percentage of working poor in the country as a whole was 13.5% in 2021, which is significantly higher than in neighbouring countries (Belgium 4%; France 8.5%; Netherlands 5%; Germany 7%). Part-time work, a precarious contract and a low level of education are clearly risk factors for poverty. However, one fact to note is that the poverty rate of full-time workers with an open-ended contract and an average level of qualification remains high in Luxembourg.
The report also provides information on the disparities in workers' wages depending on the district of the capital where they live. According to the Liser study, in districts such as the railway station, Hamm/Pulvermühle, Bonnevoie-North, Mühlenbach or Neudorf, the average salary of people living below the poverty line is less than €660. In contrast, the average salary of people living above the poverty line in the district of Ville-Haute is €9,087. The districts of Belair and Limpertsberg complete this ranking.
The station district has 1,829 working poor, i.e. workers who earn a salary of €1,942 or less per month. The second district in the capital with the most working poor residents is South Bonnevoie (Bonnevoie-Sud) with 1,797 people. On the other hand, this same district also has the highest number of resident workers with earnings above the poverty line: 4,054 people.
In the capital as a whole, there are 39,108 workers living in Luxembourg City who are paid above the poverty line.
The average salary of the 11,243 resident workers living below the poverty line is only €705 per month (regardless of the type of contract), whereas the average salary of those living above the poverty line is 10 times higher, equivalent to €7,029 per month.
This story was first published in French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.