La crainte du chômage

NEW YORK – Les derniers chiffres publiés montrent que la situation du marché du travail ne s'améliore ni aux Etats Unis ni ailleurs. Le taux de chômage américain est actuellement de 9,5% et devrait atteindre les 10% à l'automne. Il devrait même flirter avec les 11 % dans le courant 2010 et se maintenir au-dessus des 10 % pendant encore un certain temps. Le taux de chômage devrait atteindre et dépasser ces mêmes 10 % dans la plupart des économies avancées.

Ces données brutes sur les pertes d'emploi, aussi mauvaises qu'elles puissent être,  masquent malgré tout l'ampleur des faiblesses du marché du travail dans le monde. Si l'on y ajoute les emplois à mi-temps et les travailleurs découragés démissionnaires, par exemple, alors le taux de chômage monte à 16.5%. Les plans de relance monétaire et fiscale mis en place dans la plupart des pays n'ont pas empêché cette tendance ascendante de la  courbe des pertes d'emplois. Il en résulte que le revenu total du travail, c'est à dire le produit des heures travaillées par le salaire horaire moyen, connaît une baisse dramatique.

De plus, de nombreux employeurs, dans le but de répartir le poids de la récession et d' éviter les licenciements, demandent maintenant aux travailleurs d'accepter non seulement le principe d'un chômage technique mais aussi des baisses de salaires. British Airways, par exemple, a proposé à ses salariés de travailler un mois entier sans percevoir de salaire. Donc l'ensemble des incidences de la crise sur le revenu du travail, le nombre d'heures travaillées et les baisses de salaire est bien plus conséquent.

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