Michel Godet

Freeing the Job Market Publication date : January 2, 2014

Michel Godet is a professor at the French National Conservatory for Arts and Crafts, a member of the Academy of Technology and of the Council for Economic Analysis and the author of, most notably, Le Choc de 2006, which was awarded the French Economics Book Prize, Le Courage du bon sens (2007) and, more recently, La France des bonnes nouvelles (all published by Editions Odile Jacob).

This is an angry book. The unemployment rate in France has risen nonstop over the past 40 years, with dramatic consequences for the nation: the exclusion of large numbers of young people (while others are driven to export their talents abroad), an inexorable rise in public expenses (because of unemployment) and difficulties in financing retirement pensions.
This is a well-known vicious circle. Yet, as Michel Godet argues forcefully, a powerful coalition of interests keeps the circle intact.
This vital, incisive work, illustrated with pertinent examples, attacks the foundations of the French ‘exception’ on such issues as working-hours (insufficient) and labour costs (they dissuade job creation). The French will have to work more so as not to earn less, warns Godet who stresses that a major part of the solution to the pension problem is to reduce unemployment.
Aiming at bringing unemployment down to 5%, Godet outlines an active method to ‘free’ the job market. He hopes that French leaders will rise to the occasion and, finally, show they have the ‘courage to act according to common sense’.

• Jobs and unemployment are central preoccupations in France and in many other countries
• A coherent attack on 40 years of French employment policies.