Luxembourg leads the way in the use of digital devices in the workplace (in Europe), but this isn’t necessarily a good thing. Photo: Shutterstock

Luxembourg leads the way in the use of digital devices in the workplace (in Europe), but this isn’t necessarily a good thing. Photo: Shutterstock

On 16 October, Statec published a report on “work and social cohesion.” Among other things, this 160-page analysis looks at digitalisation, inequality and the risk of poverty--three themes that are difficult to separate from one another.

According to the Statec report, Luxembourg leads European countries in the use of digital devices in the workplace, with 47% of respondents saying that they use them all or most of the time. Next come the Netherlands and Sweden (41%), France and Germany (32%) and Belgium (26%).

In its analysis, the statistics bureau commented that skills gaps among a population can reinforce existing social inequalities or even create new ones.

It also found that workers who use “digital skills” on a daily basis tend to apply “additional cognitive skills twice as frequently” as those who don’t. They also have fewer manual tasks.

People who left their jobs in the last two years, furthermore, performed digital tasks less frequently than those still in employment. They were also more likely to have participated in physical tasks. “These findings seem to reinforce the idea that digital skills are more highly valued on the Luxembourg labour market,” writes Statec.

Another impact is on teleworking. In the second quarter of this year, 32% of Luxembourg residents reported teleworking, but with a clear divide: 57% of them are managers or professionals, while only 25% are in “intermediate” professions.

Digital skills, education and salaries

Mastery of digital skills has a clear impact on social inequalities, the report found. Among the most highly educated individuals (with a master’s degree or higher), 86% use digital devices for more than half of their working time. In the group of people without high school diplomas, this average falls to 26%. “This is an indicator of the deep digital divide, which coincides with the divide in education levels.”

This digital divide, unsurprisingly, is visible in salaries too. “However, it is essential to bear in mind that digital skills are intrinsically linked to the level of education,” writes Statec. “In addition, digital skills have different values on the labour market and therefore different pay returns.”

Salary more often correlates with the use of cognitive and digital skills than with other skills. “It is among the 40% of best-paid workers that the use of cognitive skills is highest. Among the lowest-paid 20% of resident workers, we find an extremely low value for this indicator.”

This article in Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.