Wednesday, April 12, 2006


First Employment in France and Elsewhere

In the course of the twelve weeks the CPE was the focus of much attention in France, a lot was said about the "problem" and, especially abroad, the need to modernize the French labor market. In the end, it was not at all clear how the proposed solution was supposed to fix the problem, largely because there was no concensus as to what the nature of the problem really was (that is why a law passed in 2004 requires participation of stakeholders in design of labor market changes, and much of the hullaballoo was because Villepin somehow forgot about that requirement).

In an article in Le Monde, 23 March 2006, Florence Audier, Laurence Lizé et Christophe Ramaux, economists at the Université Paris-I, gave their reading of the unemployment of the young in France:

But might a more "liberal" system integrate the young in the economy better or faster? According to OECD statistics regarding "Youths aged between 15 and 19 who are not in education nor in employment", we see that "exclusion" is much higher in the U.S.A. and U.K than it is in France:

Males * Females
Country 2000 2001 2002 * 2000 2001 2002
UK 8.194 8.343 8.234 * 7.88 7.972 8.937
USA 6.758 6.941 6.423 * 7.254 8.03 7.541
Germany 5.173 4.889 4.268 * 6.273 5.331 5.149
Sweden 4,7335,3725,93 * 2,4433,0823,258
France 3.364 3.374 3.651 * 3.1623.457 3.193
Denmark1.8684.7132.367 * 3.5852.708 2.43
Norway2,2853,343,673 * 1,152 2,735 2,757

So the 15-19 year-olds seem to be in not-so-bad good shape in France. If there is a problem, then, it seems to be in the 20-24 year-old bracket

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