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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Le sous-emploi se développe en France

by Clotilde Mathieu

Under-employment is Growing in France

Translated Friday 1 January 2010, by Gene Zbikowski and reviewed by Gene Zbikowski

On December 21, the French national institute of statistics and economic studies published the results of its study of employment in 2008.

The French national institute of statistics and economic studies (INSEE) published the results of its study of employment in the year 2008 on Dec. 21. A noteworthy aspect of this study is its emphasis on the problem of under-employment in France. Thus, “1.2 million people are under-employed, that is to say, they have a job but want to work more,” the INSEE notes. In addition, 767,000 people who are classified as inactive “express a desire to work.” The International Labor Office (ILO) does not count 466,000 of those 767,000 people as unemployed because they are not available for work in the coming two weeks “for health reasons or because they have no one to mind the children.”

As a result of the pauperization of the wage-earners and the growth in the number of part-time jobs, 1.2 million people have more than one job, that is, 5.1% of the workforce. Among these workers, 64% do the same type of work for several employers, while the others do different types of work. In 2008, in all, 25.9 million people had a job and 2.1 million were unemployed, according to the ILO definition. While the employment rate of women has grown, they do not do the same jobs as men. They mostly work in the health, education and social work sectors, and also in the service sector, in particular as personal care providers. They work under job contracts that provide less job security, and they often have part-time jobs. Unemployment hits women especially hard, except for the under-25s. According to the INSEE, three factors explain this state of affairs: Young women have a higher level of education than young men; they are oriented toward more economically-dynamic sectors; and they are more likely to leave the job market for school or job training.

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