14 March 2006

The young French workforce: precarious job or no job at all

An excerpt from Peter Ford's Christian Science Monitor story (08.03.06)
"...Youth unemployment in France, among the highest in Europe, stands at 23 percent, more than double the US rate. Joblessness was one of the sparks that lit the fires that young rioters set in Parisian suburbs last November. Five years after finishing their studies, more than a fifth of French twentysomethings still do not have a job.

Yet a government scheme to encourage firms to hire more young people drew hundreds of thousands of protesters onto the streets of 160 towns and cities in France Tuesday, amid widespread fears that the plan will undermine the country's traditionally high levels of job security.

'Young people are being made to choose between a precarious job and no job at all,' complained Charlotte Basquin, a law student in Paris, as she prepared to join a demonstration against the government."

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