Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.
Display:
Here's my translation (errors mine) of Denis Clerc's piece in Alternatives Economiques:

Hardly a day goes by without its elogy of the British employment model. Indeed, the British jobless rate of 4.6% (2nd quarter 2004) is enough to make the French dream. Ten years ago, in 1994, the two countries showed similar, poor performance: 12% for France, 9.7% for the UK. So France should be red-faced today.

Not so sure. Over the same ten years, the number of jobs in the UK increased by 11%. In France, by... 14%. That's because of a rise in the number of government employees, reply the free-marketers. Well, no, because the UK is clear ahead of France in this race: since 1997, 45% of newly-created jobs (861,000 out of a total of 1.92 million), are public-sector, while in France, the number of new non-private-sector jobs (including public sector plus ONGs, trade unions, religious bodies) increased by 300,000 during the same period. Doctors, teachers, policemen, nurses... These are the jobs that have been created on the other side of the Channel. <snip> Not surprising, since public services were particularly badly treated by the ultra-free-market governments of the '80s and '90s.

If job creation in France has been superior, how come the unemployment level remains stuck so high, while it keeps going down in Britain? Quite simply because of the increase in the active (working-age) population. The number of job-seekers rose by 12% in France over ten years, as against 6% in the UK. So France needs to create two jobs to Britain's one to bring the unemployment statistics down.

But to confess that a rise in working-age population might have an effect on unemployment goes against the fundamental free-market assertion: all candidates on the job market will find a job... unless prevented by government interference (minimum wage, constraints on firing, high unemployment benefits).

Denis Clerc, Alternatives Economiques, n° 235, April 2005

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Aug 19th, 2005 at 05:49:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But to confess that a rise in working-age population might have an effect on unemployment goes against the fundamental free-market assertion: all candidates on the job market will find a job... unless prevented by government interference (minimum wage, constraints on firing, high unemployment benefits).

With that added, I feel Clerc makes a better point with the same data. Many thanks for the translation!

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Aug 19th, 2005 at 05:55:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Occasional Series