Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • EU leaders choose Tusk and Mogherini for top jobs, discuss Russia sanctions

    Read more

  • Dozens of UN peacekeepers still held by Syrian jihadists

    Read more

  • Opposition protesters clash with Pakistani police outside PM's house

    Read more

  • Austerity row overshadows French Socialist’s annual rally

    Read more

  • Egypt sentences Brotherhood leader Badie to life

    Read more

  • Ceasfire allows Gaza families to relax on the beach

    Read more

  • S. Africa condemns 'military coup' in Lesotho

    Read more

  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

    Read more

  • Ukrainian plane with seven on board crashes in Algeria

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

    Read more

  • IMF backs Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

Europe

French govt criticised for ‘weak’ job-creation schemes

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-09-05

The French government has announced plans to subsidize job opportunities for young people in deprived areas. But some are not convinced the measures are bold enough as the number of unemployed people in the country passes 3 million.

As unemployment in France officially passed the three million mark, the government has come under intense criticism for schemes to subsidise new jobs for young unemployed people.

One of the Socialist government’s plans, announced last week, involves subsidising the creation of 150,000 mostly public-sector jobs between now and 2014 under an “employment for the future scheme” that focuses on young French jobseekers from deprived areas.

The government wants to follow this up with a further 500,000 “generational jobs” which would allow private-sector companies to take on little-qualified young employees. The state would sponsor these positions by reducing employment charges, allowing companies to retain older workers who would stay on as “mentors”.

But following Labour Minister Michel Sapin's admission on September 2 that some 3.23 million were now unemployed in France and its overseas territories, both schemes came under criticism from the left, with left-leaning daily Liberation accusing the government of lacking ambition.

Meanwhile, Valérie Pecresse, who was labour minister in former President Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservative government, said on Tuesday that the “employment for the future” scheme “was neither real employment, nor a real future.”

Jobs abroad

Economist Mathieu Plane told FRANCE 24 he supported the plans as a good idea in a time of crisis, adding that the critics were missing the point.

“Of course, creating these jobs isn’t going to reverse unemployment,” he said. “But we need to know what we are talking about here – these subsidised work contracts are about minimising the social ramifications of the deteriorating economic situation that exists throughout Europe.”

Growth, rather than direct government intervention, is the only real factor that will reduce unemployment, he said, adding that the probelem, being Europe-wide, would not be solved by France alone. 

Plane also admitted that most of the jobs created would last only as long as the state continued to subsidise them, and “only 50,000 to 100,000” would end up being long-term positions.

For many French businesses, the fundamental long-term solution to reduce unemployment is to relax the high employment taxes and social security contributions companies are obliged to pay when they hire staff, and thus reduce the cost of labour.

Yves Bontaz, who employs 350 people in auto-parts factories in France, told FRANCE 24 on Wednesday that a factory he had planned to open in the Haute-Savoie administrative region in eastern France would now be built in Morocco instead, where labour is considerably cheaper.

Insisting that the decision was not politically-motivated, the outright supporter of the right-wing opposition UMP accused France’s socialist leaders of being “fundamentally anti-business” and of driving the economy “into a hole”.

“Employee tax in France is just too high,” he said, explaining that the high cost of hiring staff meant that he had no choice but to set up his new factory, which will employ 400 workers, in a cheaper environment.

“Liberalise the work market and you will create more jobs,” said Bontaz. “As for the government subsidising new jobs, this is a weak measure – it’s the French taxpayer who will end up footing the bill for schemes that the state can’t afford anyway.”

 

Date created : 2012-09-04

  • FRANCE

    French jobless tops three million, minister says

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    French unemployment nears three million in July

    Read more

COMMENT(S)