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Socio-Economic Inequalities

Observers pointed out that growth in Europe over the last decades has been accompanied by an increase in inequalities. And employment, as described above (Working-poor), is not any more considered as the only remedy to the social problems. The quality of employment is now a criterion almost as important as the rate of employment. And in this regard education of course is a key factor. According to the WZB report, the situation is as follows: across the EU persons with low-level qualifications earn on average 15% less than persons with mid-level qualifications and persons with high-level of education earn on average 44% more than persons with mid-level qualifications. And the trend is very clear. Persons with low or poor qualifications are increasingly excluded from employment. Moreover, 9.6% of Europeans that means a total of 48 million persons are facing a situation of "severe material deprivation". In fact, 1.4% of Swedish and more than 5% of French are living below that line, but the rates are higher than 20% in Greece or in Hungary and even higher than 40% in Bulgaria (Report Inequality Watch). The only immediate way of improving the life of all these people who are in distress is to increase the financial transfers and other social and economic benefits. At least until the arrival of a real economic recovery.

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