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France created 2 million new jobs in just over 3 years in 1998-2001, the period when both the 35 hour week and the emplois jeunes were in place.


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 07:33:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
your graphs are great. Only two curves.
Beyond that, I am lost.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 07:58:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This definitely goes against the CW, and I appreciate that.  Perhaps this question has been raised elswhere, and perhaps it's simplistic too, but I was wondering if the 35 heures also suffers from the insider-outsider syndrome. Does it?  

It seems that it has been applied haphazardly and created a lot of resentment, resentment which overshadows any and all benefits it may give.

by andrethegiant on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 08:26:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I found some links earlier, but have lost them right now, but surveys show that most people see the 35 hour week as a positive thing (broadly, 50% favorable, 33% indifferent, 15% hostile, with somewhat more hostility amongst blue collar workers - who lost some pay on extra hours - and women - who sometimes lost out on more "flexible" work times).

Do remember that it was not really aplied in the private sector nor in small companies. Big companies took advantage of the 35-hour week (which were really counted on a yearly basis, actually giving them more flexibility) to reorganise work practices and actually boosted productivity. For instance Peugeot ended up with a 115% capacity use for its factories after putting it in place, thanks to its ability to put in more shifts (people working, on a volunteer basis, 30 hours mostly over the week-end, for instance)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 09:12:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it was not really aplied in the private sector nor in small companies

Don't you mean "public" sector?

As for small companies, it depends. Very small companies didn't apply it because it just couldn't work out with only 2-3-4 employees. But from the 10-20-employee (and above) level, it was widely applied.

Some women may have lost out from flexible hours, others gained: especially those who were on part time and moved up to full time. Employment increased in that way too, not only by creation of new posts.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 09:28:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, public sector, of course!
I thought the limit for SMEs was 20 employees but maybe my memory fails me here.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 09:30:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My memory may fail me too, but I think it was optional lower than 20. There were advantages to opting (rebates on social contributions, wage-increase moderation over several years, and, above all, new flexibility in organizing the workload thanks to the annualization of working hours), so companies did opt if it looked like being in their interest.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 09:38:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, in terms of "mythical" man-hours you can swap 7 employees at 40h for 8 employees at 35h, so it's antural that it wouldn't be applied for less than 10 employees.

Jerome also commented the other day that there are legal obligation regarding worker representation, etc, beyond 10 employees, which sort of defines what is "small". That threshold might also be a factor.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 09:31:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
10 is one threshold, 20 is the next, 50 the next.

So it certainly entered into the calculation if you were under 10 or 20 and would go over that limit by opting to implement the law.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 09:42:21 AM EST
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