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Full employment: the sweet dream of Emmanuel Macron

How to regain control when the deal is bad? By inventing a story to divert attention.

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Full employment: the sweet dream of Emmanuel Macron

How to regain control when the deal is bad? By inventing a story to divert attention. After the era of "whatever it costs", here is the time of "how much does it cost". Still, in terms of public finances, the government is in a corner. How, at the same time, to keep the promises made in Brussels to reduce the public deficit below 3% of GDP in 2027, to relaunch investments in health, justice, education or the green transition, without increasing taxes, the all against the background of a return to normal interest rates? An infernal equation … except to believe in the beautiful story that the executive is weaving: that of the return to full employment, the magic solution to all our ills. A beautiful story that smacks of the 1960s and 70s, when the social elevator hoisted workers and leaving one job to take another was a formality for everyone, regardless of their level of qualification.

Full employment means more growth, more income from contributions and taxes and less unemployment benefits... But if it was relatively easy to reduce the unemployment rate from 9.5% to 7.4% in six years, the path that remains to be traveled is steeper.

Two challenges stand out: the resumption of a job by those who have remained too long away from the labor market and the employment of seniors. However, neither the reform of unemployment insurance nor that of pensions are miracle solutions to these two projects. More will have to be done to make the promised narrative a reality.

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