Beyond the unemployment rate. An international comparison since the crisis

By Bruno Ducoudré and Pierre Madec

According to figures from the French statistics institute (INSEE) published on 12 May 2017, non-agricultural commercial employment in France increased (+0.3%) in the first quarter of 2017 for the eighth consecutive quarter. Employment rose by 198,300 in one year. Despite the improvement on the jobs front experienced since 2015, the impact of the crisis is still lingering. Continue reading “Beyond the unemployment rate. An international comparison since the crisis”

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Could Trump really re-industrialize the United States?

By Sarah Guillou

Callicles to Socrates: “What you say is of no interest to me, and I will continue to act as I have previously, without worrying about the lessons you claim to give.” Gorgias, Chapter 3

Only 8% of the jobs in the United States are now in industry. Donald Trump, the new President of the United States, wants to reindustrialize America and is speaking out against the opening of factories abroad and the closing of local factories. Is there any economic rationale for the indiscriminate communications of the new US President? Continue reading “Could Trump really re-industrialize the United States?”

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Unemployment: beyond the (good) figures from France’s job centre

Analysis and Forecasting Department (France team)

The 60,000 person decline in March for the number of people registered in Category A at France’s Pôle emploi job centre is exceptional. One has to go back to September 2000 to find a fall of this magnitude. There is some natural volatility in the monthly statistics for job seekers, but the fact remains that the trajectory has changed noticeably. In the last year, the number registered in Category A at the job centre rose by 17,000. A year earlier, from March 2014 to March 2015, the increase was 164,000. Better yet, over the last six months the number registered fell by 19,000. Continue reading “Unemployment: beyond the (good) figures from France’s job centre”

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Matteo Renzi’s Jobs Act: A very guarded optimism

By Céline Antonin

At a time when the subject of labour market reform has aroused passionate debate in France, Italy is drawing some initial lessons from the reform it introduced a year ago. It should be noted that the labour market reform, dubbed the Jobs Act, had been one of Matteo Renzi’s campaign promises. The Italian labour market has indeed been suffering from chronic weaknesses, including segmentation, a duality between employees with and without social protection, high youth unemployment, and a mismatch between costs and labour productivity. Renzi’s reform takes a social-liberal approach, advocating flexicurity, with the introduction of a new permanent employment contract with graduated protection, lower social charges on companies, and better compensation and support for the unemployed. Although the initial assessment is surely positive in terms of both unemployment and job creation, there’s no cause for hasty triumphalism: the reform has been implemented in especially favourable circumstances, marked by a return of growth, an accommodative policy mix, and a stagnating work force. Continue reading “Matteo Renzi’s Jobs Act: A very guarded optimism”

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The labour market on the road to recovery

By Bruno Ducoudré

A look at the figures just published by France’s Pôle Emploi job centre for the month of September 2015 shows that the number of job seekers who were registered and inactive (category A) has declined significantly (-23,800), following an increase in August (+20,000). While this is encouraging news, the decrease has to be compared with the increases seen in categories B and C (+25,600). So while employment has indeed picked up, this has not resulted in the numbers of people exiting unemployment as measured by the job centre, i.e. it has not put a stop to the continuing rise in the number of long-term unemployed (+10.4% in one year). Nevertheless, these trends do support the conclusions drawn from current analysis which indicate that a recovery has indeed begun. Continue reading “The labour market on the road to recovery”

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Part-time work

By Françoise Milewski

Part-time work as a share of total employment has increased significantly. This increase was limited in the 1970s and then accelerated in the 1980s and especially in the 1990s. During the 2000s and early 2010s, changes in the long-term trend were less pronounced. Overall, the share of part-time work more than doubled in the last forty years and now accounts for nearly one-fifth of employment. Continue reading “Part-time work”

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How can a basic income be defended?

By Guillaume Allègre

Following the submission of 125,000 signatures collected by organizations supporting the introduction of a basic income, Swiss citizens will vote in a referendum on a popular initiative on the inclusion of the principle of an unconditional basic income in the Swiss Federal Constitution. Continue reading “How can a basic income be defended?”

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Has the 35-hour work week really “weighed down” the French economy?

By Eric Heyer

Did the Aubry laws introducing the 35-hour work week in France between 1998 and 2002 really make French business less competitive and lead to job losses, as is suggested in the latest report from the OECD? Has France seen its economic performance decline post-reform relative to its European partners? Have the public finances been “weighed down” by these laws?

A review of our recent macroeconomic history, coupled with international comparisons, provides some answers to these questions. Continue reading “Has the 35-hour work week really “weighed down” the French economy?”

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The trend in unemployment: no reversal in sight

By Bruno Ducoudré

The government has announced that the trend in unemployment will be reversed by the end of 2013. The number of jobseekers registered in category A with France’s Pôle Emploi job centre at the end of September increased by 60,000. The number fell during August by 50,000, mainly due to a “bug” in sending SMS texts, which led to an unusually large rise in the number of terminations due to the claimant’s failure to stay up to date (up 72,000 over the previous month). An increase in enrolments for the month of September due to the re-registration of jobless people who had been unduly terminated was therefore expected. The number of jobseekers registered in category A thus rose by 10,000 between July and September 2013, which meant that the trend is still upwards but at a more moderate pace than earlier in the year. These large variations in the very short term in the numbers registered with the ANPE job centre make it impossible to give a precise idea of upcoming trends in employment and unemployment. Our analysis of the labour market up to 2014, which is set out in the latest OFCE forecasts of October 2013, suggests that no significant improvement in unemployment is expected by the end of 2014. Continue reading “The trend in unemployment: no reversal in sight”

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How to reform the reduction on payroll taxes?

By Mathieu Bunel, Céline Emond, Yannick L’Horty

More than 20 billion euros are spent every year by the State to compensate the general exemptions from social security contributions, making this the leading employment policy plank in France, both in terms of the total budget and the numbers concerned – more than one employee out of two benefits from the reduction in contributions. In these times of fiscal pressure and the inexorable upward trend in unemployment, questions are being raised about the sustainability of such a scheme, whose scale, which was unified by the 2003 Fillon reform, consists of a reduction that shrinks as the wage rises, up to the level of 1.6 times the minimum wage (SMIC). At the level of the SMIC, the reduction comes to 26 points (28 points for firms with fewer than 20 employees). Continue reading “How to reform the reduction on payroll taxes?”

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