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Economy

ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Le chômage s’aggrave encore

by anonymous

Unemployment Worsens Again

Translated Monday 27 October 2014, by Gene Zbikowski

Unemployment figures are rising again, a few days before the middle of François Hollande’s presidency. The government’s jobs policy is a failure, despite Manuel Valls’ talk boasting about the competitiveness jobs tax credit (CICE)

Joblessness went up again in September, reaching the record level of 3.43 million people registered at Pôle emploi, the French unemployment agency (an increase by 19,200 job-seekers, or 0.6%), the Ministry of Labor announced on Oct. 24. The increase is even clearer when job-seekers who worked a little are included (50,200 more people, a 1.0% rise), whose number reached the record-breaking level of 5.13 million job-seekers (5.43 million when France’s overseas départements are included).

Since François Hollande’s May 2012 election, over a half-million job-seekers have pushed open the door at Pôle emploi. The number of long-term jobless, who have been registered at Pôle emploi for over a year, went up by 1.5% over last month. The rise over a year comes to 10.0%. Long-term jobless represent 43% of all job-seekers.

In September, the end of time-limited work contracts was the number one reason for registering at Pôle emploi (24.9% of registrees). There was a sharp rise in the number of job-seekers whose temporary contracts had come to an end (up 7.4%). On the other hand, the number of workers laid off fell (down 7.4% over the previous month, down 5.3% over a year) and account for only 2.5% of the newly registered.

As concerns job-seekers who have been stricken from the rolls, there are fewer declarations of having found a job (down 4.9% over the previous month). After a strong rise in August, the number of job-seekers stricken from the rolls because they have not renewed their registration or for administrative reasons clearly fell in September (down 14.4% and 18.7% respectively). On average, jobless people remain on the Pôle emploi rolls for 287 days.

Reactions

Questioned in Brussels after the European Council meeting, François Hollande dodged the subject of the single job contract by stating that nothing permanent would be done against unemployment “unless growth returns in Europe.”

For his part, the minister for labor, François Rebsamen, issued a press statement pointing out that the average increase in joblessness had slowed to 11,400 more unemployed a month in the third quarter (the rate was 14,000 a month in the first quarter and 16,300 a month in the second quarter). But this slowing-down is due to the fall registered in August.

He admits that the rise in the number of jobless younger than age 25 requires “sustaining the effort in favor of inserting young people” into the job market.

“The reforms need time to show their effects,” the minister emphasized. He also repeated that he had called a meeting of labor and management this week “to define new actions against long-term unemployment.” … We are reluctant to believe that he was thus alluding to a new “reform” of unemployment insurance and the idea of a single job contract, which were floated by Prime Minister Valls!


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