The Statec report on social cohesion was published on 15 October
(Photo: Romain Gamba)
Frontline workers earned 90% of the average salary of non-frontline workers, a study by national statistics agency Statec published on Thursday said.
The study found that around 150,000 people in Luxembourg are considered frontline workers, including healthcare staff but also teachers, cleaners, supermarket employees and delivery personnel.
Frontline workers earned on average €23.9 per hour, which is roughly 90% of the average salary of non-frontline workers. Statec does not provide data on how big the salary gap would be when removing teachers or other high-income earners from the calculation, but it considers 35% of frontline workers to be in the low-income bracket.
Around one-quarter of frontline workers have completed a university degree, Statec said. Four out of ten women work in frontline jobs, according to the report, compared to fewer than three in ten men. The higher rate of women further contributes to lower salaries among frontline workers, Statec said, because of women earning less on average than men.
Already prior to the pandemic, the agency registered rising income inequality, it said. The Gini coefficient--an index on a scale of 0 to 1 to measure income and wealth inequality--was at 0.32 last year. The value was up from 0.1 in 2018, with 0 representing perfect equality.
The wealthiest 10% of the country have a salary nine times higher than that of the poorest 10%, Statec said.
The report also found that government benefits significantly mitigate the risk of poverty in the country. Around 2.5% of the population are considered poor, Statec said, but 17.5% are at risk of poverty. Without state welfare, more than a quarter of households would be considered at risk of poverty.
Just over half of Luxembourg’s workforce was able to work from home during the pandemic, State said further, with white collar jobs and those with higher education degrees benefitting the most.