Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Europe's Precariat

A new “precariat” is forming across Europe: millions of people who have jobs but still can’t quite make ends meet. The upshot has been rising inequality and mounting precariousness for a tier of people who find that work can be insecure, sporadic and so low paid that it doesn’t even cover the bills. The number of working people failing to make ends meet is creating a new, insecure level of society

A survey published this week by the European Council on Foreign Relations found that only a third of Germans and a quarter of Italians and French typically had money left over at month-end for discretionary spending.

More than 37% of the families in the Barcelona metropolitan area spend more than 40% of their income on rent and associated housing costs. That is way above the European average of 25%, according to a study by the Barcelona’s Institute of Regional and Metropolitan Studies.

Recent work by French economists meanwhile found that the average income of the richest 1% of Europeans has grown twice as fast as that of the bottom 50%. 

The poverty rate remains 21%, the same as it was in the mid-2000s.

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