Executive compensation is improving. According to the annual compensation barometer published on Thursday by the Employment Association for Executives (Apec), 46% of them obtained an increase in 2021, a marked increase compared to 2020 (38%). Their median gross annual compensation thus reached 51,000 euros (compared to 50,000 in 2020) while it stagnated between 2018 and 2020.
Men earn much more than women
Another lesson is that there is still a long way to go to achieve parity. At the end of 2021, the gross annual compensation of male executives stood at 54,000 euros compared to 47,000 for female executives, a difference of 15% that has been stable for several years. For equivalent profile and position, the gap is 7.4%, it has fluctuated between 7 and 8% for many years.
Young managers were 62% to be increased in 2021, i.e. 12 points more than in 2020 and a level higher than 2019 (60%). If pay for the under 30s had retracted in 2020 for the first time in the last 10 years, “ the situation seems to be back to normal “.
In 2022, in a context of recruitment pressures and inflation not seen in decades, the share of senior executives should be at ” a historically high level”.
Executives nevertheless increasingly dissatisfied with their salary
Indeed, surveyed in May 2022, 41% of executives indicated that they had already received an increase since the start of the year and 18% thought they would receive one by the end of the year. ” The record level of 51% of augmented executives of 2018 could be exceeded this year »observes APEC.
Despite these wage efforts, compensation became one of the main areas of dissatisfaction among executives in May, especially among those under 35 (29%, +5 points compared to 2021). Dissatisfaction with pay is also increasing among 35-54 year olds (27%, +4 points) but remains stable among the oldest (25%, -1 point).
An overall salary increase
Beyond executives, according to a study conducted by the Banque de France, salary increases negotiated for 2022 vary on average between 2.5% and 3.5% depending on the sector, compared to 1% since 2014. automobile, the revaluation even reaches 4.5% in 2022.
As for the catering sector, the workers obtained an average increase of the entire salary scale of 16.33% and a minimum remuneration of more than 5% of the minimum wage. The salaries of 5.7 million public officials will be increased by 3.5% from July 1. Still, these revaluations are, on the whole, well below the rise in prices which affects purchasing power.
Indexing wages to inflation, a false good idea
Gilbert Cette, professor of economics at Neoma Business School, is worried that these increases will put France in an inflationary spiral. He evokes the “Phillips curve”, a phenomenon that occurs when rising wages fuel rising prices. Companies increase the remuneration of their employees, which increases their production costs and they are then forced to pass them on to their selling prices so as not to reduce their margins too much. This is why, since 1983 and the Pierre Mauroy government, the indexation of wages to inflation is prohibited.
If the European Central Bank (ECB) is opposed to such indexation – which is hardly practiced in Europe, except in Belgium and Luxembourg according to different methods – it is always for fear of an inflationary spiral.
Nevertheless, some two million employees remain protected from inflation, those paid the minimum wage. An automatic adjustment mechanism, including during the year, ensures that the minimum wage increases at least as fast as prices. From May 2021 to May 2022, the Smic will thus have increased by 5.9%.