The protests over the past weeks by youth of France highlight the frustration that a stalled economy can produce. Just think, over the past 5 years, France’s economy has achieved an average annual growth rate of just 1.4 percent. With this anemic performance, is it any wonder that France’s unemployment rate, at 9.6%, is double that of the U.S.?
The controversial new law, called the Fist Employment Contract, aims at making it easier for employers to both hire and fire young workers. Currently, the unemployment rate for men under 25 in France stands at nearly 21 percent (up 38% from the level 5 years ago). So while its understandable that concerns about job security have elevated, its also painfully obvious that job security without growth opportunities in an oxymoron.
The French government took a necessary step to add some flexibility to its labor market. Maybe the rest of Europe will learn from this move and take their own steps to reinvigorate their own economies, and take the pressure off the U.S. to be the sole engine of economic growth in the world
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