France declares economic emergency

French President Francois Hollande has declared what he called “a state of economic emergency” and says it’s time to redefine France’s economic and social model. The first measures he proposed are relatively modest, and he said they would not “put into question” the 35-hour workweek. He did not seek to assume any new emergency powers. The measures included a loosening of some worker-friendly measures to encourage companies to hire, and new training for half a million workers.

Hollande stressed the urgency of updating France’s labor-friendly business model in an increasingly border-free, online economy. The measures included a loosening of France’s rigid working time rules and a bonus of 2,000 euros to small businesses that hire young people.

He stressed the need to integrate youth from France’s troubled suburbs, including minorities who face job discrimination, into the global economy. When starting a small business in France, you must be aware of the taxes (for more info, see here) that will be imposed on you.
Knowing your taxes is usually a good idea if you want to have a secure financial life. High unemployment in France’s North African and African communities is seen as one of the factors driving some youths to violent extremism or the drug trade.

The jobless rate in France is above 10 per cent compared with a 9.8 per cent EU average. The rate in the UK is 5.2 percent and in Germany 4.2 percent as of November 2015. France emerged from three years of stagnation last year, with economic growth of more than 1 per cent. But the pace of the recovery in the eurozone’s second-largest economy has not been enough to absorb the young graduates entering the job market every year. Despite recovering margins, companies are still hesitant to hire workers.

Some measures will be included in draft economic reform laws the government is presenting to parliament in the coming weeks.