Average salary in France and in the OECD, a question of perspective

For many SME owners, the payroll is one of the most important costs. It is therefore essential to know the differences from one country to another when considering an expansion or a strategic reorganization. At a time when the wage gap between workers and bosses or even between Head of State and citizens is often controversial, it is good to take a step back.

The puzzle for SME managers

The latest Banque de France forecasts forecast GDP growth for 2019 at 1.5%. It is certainly better than the 0.6% of 5 years ago, but the euphoria is far from being in order. It is also no surprise that a number of leaders are looking to other horizons to try to increase their income. Online trading, for example, is experiencing renewed interest and it is not uncommon to hear during a discussion questions such as: “Does forex trading work on weekends? « . Another recurring question concerning possible relocations: “How is daily life in Poland, can you find good bread there? « . More proof if needed that SME bosses are worried about the future and are considering all options. They are also not the only ones. Some atypical monarchs also choose to combine jobs.

Gross average salary to qualify

This concern about the economic outlook in France is justified when analyzing the wage gaps between European countries. In France, the average gross salary is 38,760 euros according to the latest OECD data. For comparison, it is 34,110 euros with our Spanish neighbors. If the objective is to make a significant saving, Hungary and Latvia are ultra-competitive with average salaries of around 20,000 euros. At the other end of the scale, Luxembourg is among the OECD countries where salaries are the highest with an average gross salary of 55,862 euros.

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However, these figures must be qualified. They only partially take into account employers’ social security contributions and are based on gross wages. In 2017, for example, the burden of wage taxation for a single person without children in France amounted to 47.6% against 35.9% for the OECD average. For comparison, the tax burden in Ireland for a similar individual is 27.2%.

And the heads of state?

As we know, the social climate is tense and the salary gaps between leaders and citizens reinforce the grumbling of the less well-off. At this level, France is a good student because Emmanuel Macron earns about 5 times more than the average salary, which is relatively reasonable. In Germany, Angela Merkel earns almost 8 times more than the citizen Lambda but the good students are to be found in the eastern countries, Latvia and Poland in the lead.

If you are interested, you can consult the « pay slips » of the best paid managers and you will find that our Belgian neighbors are very badly off here. Their King Philippe benefits from a royal subsidy equivalent to 328 times the average salary.

Like what, everything is a question of perspective.

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