Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal issues

IREF Europe - Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal issues

Fiscal competition
and economic freedom

Unemployment : France is « doing better than the other countries »

The last statistics from the OECD are unequivocal: the unemployment rate in France is and has always been well above the average for the OECD countries and also above the average of countries from the euro zone. This is a proof that the State is not the solution for unemployment.

Since the end of the 70ies the unemployment rate in France approximates 10% and reached 14% at the beginning of the 90ies. During all that period, the unemployment rate in France has been steadily above the level in the other European countries and the United States. It remains above the OECD average even during the 80ies when it drops down to 7.6%.

In December 2008 for example, at the heart of the crisis, the unemployment rate in France was 7.9%, while the average in the European Union was 7% and in the United States 6% (even Germany was doing better with its 7.1% despite of the reunification which is still penalizing German economy).

France is also record-holder for unemployment of young people, 16 to 25 years old. The unemployment rate for this category has been around 25% the last twenty years. This is one of the biggest failures of state interventionism. Rigidity of the job market, unreasonably high level of the minimum wage, a “generous” unemployment indemnities, prohibitive social contributions, progressive taxation penalizing savings and entrepreneurship : the State is doing everything that actually destroys the job market.

The last statistics from the OECD are showing that at the end of February 2010 the unemployment rate in France is still above the average for OECD countries, the euro zone and the USA. A good example for the success of public policies.

Average for OECD Countries 8.8%
G7 8.1%
European Union 9.5%
Canada 8%
Germany 7.5%
United Kingdom 7.8%
United States 9.6%

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