The Middle class in the EU decreases, according to the latest report of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Among the main reasons are the decline in employment, wage cuts in the public sector, weakening mechanisms for the signing of collective agreements.
In Middle class experts include people whose incomes are between 80% and 120% of the average income per capita in the country, reminded the ILO. In the EU, this criterion correspond to 23-40% from the families. According to the recent studies the phenomenon and risks of increased inequalities between the top and the bottom, little research has been carried out on trends relating to the middle income range that generally represents the middle class.
According to the ILO study between 2004 and 2011 years the Middle class in the EU declined by 2.3%, while according to the latest data this down trend continues. Moreover, during the global financial and economic crisis, particularly between 2008 and 2011 years, the income of the middle class fell.
Due to the economic downturn, this group has suffered heavily in countries like Greece, Spain, Estonia, Cyprus and Portugal. In Central and Eastern Europe the growth of the middle class was stopped by the crisis. A number of other countries, especially in Germany, the decrease of the middle class was observed before the crisis, which dropped by 3% annually.
In countries where Middle class continues to hold, especially in Denmark and Sweden, in many families are working both adults.
“This means that the presence of a salary (family) may already be insufficient belonging to the middle class”, said senior economist from ILO Daniel Logan-Whitehead. “Some professions such as teachers or doctors who are particularly characteristic of the middle class and are typical of women’s employment, may dry up in the provision of average income”, added he.
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