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The NYT editorial is so empty I am tempted to throw in a little thought. First I confess I know nothing about the French economy, so take it easy please.

As has been (probably) pointed out, the high level of youth unemployment seems to imply (i) a mis-match of job offerings and job demands at the entry level, and (ii) a slow adjustment process to resolve the mis-match in the labor market.  de Villepin is trying to eliminate the initial mis-match by creating a sub-category of "youth job" opportunities.  But it does not appear to address the slow adjustment process, and, consequently, one wonders what happens after 2 years when the sub-category jobs are no longer available. It may simply postpone the mis-match by 2 years (as Munchau says). (If, however, employers and young employees have the chance to know each other and thus smoothen out the adjustment during the 2 years, the proposal makes sense. Intuitively, however, this seems unlikely to happen.)

I think Jerome is right; in order to address the slow adjustment process, some sort of flexibility needs to be introduced in the full-time employment practice, a potentially explosive issue for de Villepin (seems to me).  Additionally, I wonder, if young entrants into the labor market would have to be better represented before employers. (We try to resolve this problem by greater, organized participation of colleges in the job search and follow-up for their students.)

I will become a patissier, God willing.

by tuasfait on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 10:58:42 PM EST

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