Academic Literature

France – Lessons on Youth Unemployment and Youth Employment Policy

The last crisis has merely amplified what is an increasingly problematic structural issue in France: Youth unemployment. In the last 30 years, the youth unemployment rate has never dropped below 15% and has regularly exceeded 20%. Yet, integrating young people into the labour market has been an ongoing public policy objective since the end of the 1970s. In a paper to be presented in autumn I examine the causes of youth unemployment in France, taking into account the lessons from the last 40 years of public policy.

The problems begin with the framework used to assess the youth unemployment rate. France is said to have a low activity rate amongst young people (40 %) compared to other countries. So, when INSEE published a 22.8% unemployment rate for 15-24 year-olds in March 2011, it only applied to 40% of the active population. On that basis, the youth appear over-unemployed considering their particular position in the labour market. The high concentration of youth in insecure jobs (short-term contracts and temporary work) explains why their employment is so sensitive to economic cycles. Due to labour market segmentation, youth are integrated into sectors with a high labour rotation rate or in less skilled jobs…

Source: Youth Unemployment and Youth Employment Policy: Lessons from French Experience — Social Europe Journal.

Discussion

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