Get access

LOW PAY, IN-WORK POVERTY AND ECONOMIC VULNERABILITY: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS USING EU-SILC

Authors

  • BERTRAND MAITRE,

    1. Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin
    Search for more papers by this author
    • The authors gratefully acknowledge comments from participants at the Workshop on Low Pay, Low Skill and Low Income, in Milan, and funding from the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences.

  • BRIAN NOLAN,

    1. School of Applied Social Science and Geary Institute, UCD, Dublin
    Search for more papers by this author
    • The authors gratefully acknowledge comments from participants at the Workshop on Low Pay, Low Skill and Low Income, in Milan, and funding from the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences.

  • CHRISTOPHER T. WHELAN

    1. School of Sociology and Geary Institute, UCD, Dublin
    Search for more papers by this author
    • The authors gratefully acknowledge comments from participants at the Workshop on Low Pay, Low Skill and Low Income, in Milan, and funding from the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences.


  • Manuscript received 18.12.09; final version received 25.06.10.

Abstract

We explore the potential of data from EU-SILC (‘Statistics on Income and Living Conditions’) for the enlarged European Union for the study of low pay and its relationship to household poverty and vulnerability. Limitations of the earnings data currently available mean the analysis covers only 14 of these countries. For employees who are not low paid, income poverty is seen to be rare. The low paid face a much higher risk of being in a household below relative income poverty thresholds, ranging from 7 per cent in Belgium and the Netherlands up to 17–18 per cent in Austria, Estonia and Lithuania. The likelihood of their being in a poor household is clearly linked to gender, age and social class. In most of the countries only a minority of low-paid individuals are in vulnerable households.

Ancillary