Remettre la France au travail

Le malaise chronique de la France s'accompagne régulièrement de manifestations de mécontentement. Les deux épisodes les plus récents - les émeutes dans les banlieues à l'automne dernier et les récentes manifestations étudiantes qui ont réussi à entraîner le retrait du CPE, le nouveau contrat de travail destiné aux jeunes - semblent n'avoir rien de commun. Mais dans les deux cas, l'on retrouve jeunesse, chômage et inquiétude quant au futur, associés au paternalisme étouffant de l'Etat qui est à l'origine d'un malaise plus profond.

Prenons à titre d'exemple l'objectif légitime de garantir la sécurité de l'emploi. Les gouvernements français utilisent pour y parvenir le seul moyen qu'ils connaissent : toujours plus de lois. Il n'est pas étonnant que des lois qui rendent difficile tout licenciement n'encouragent pas les employeurs à embaucher. Ceux qui disposent d'un emploi jouissent d'un niveau de protection incroyablement élevé, tandis que les millions de demandeurs d'emploi voient se dresser devant eux des obstacles qui paraissent insurmontables.

En conséquence, le chômage tourne autour de 10% depuis une décennie et il n'est jamais descendu en dessous de 8% depuis 20 ans. Si le niveau moyen de chômage reste stable (mais à un niveau inacceptable), le chômage des jeunes (dans la tranche d'âge 16-24 ans) a fait un bond de 15,3% en 1990 à 21,4% en 2005.

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