Reinforced control of job seekers: “The effects will be quite marginal”, estimates economist Mathieu Plane

“These controls already exist”, recalled Wednesday on franceinfo Mathieu Plane, economist at theFrench Observatory of Economic Conditions.

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“I think the effects will be quite marginal”, estimated Wednesday, November 10 on franceinfo Mathieu Plane, economist at theFrench Observatory of Economic Conjunctures (OFCE), after the Head of State announced in his speech Tuesday a strengthening of the control of job seekers. Gabriel Attal said Wednesday on franceinfo that there will be “25% more checks over the next six months”, carried out by Pôle Emploi agents.

“These controls already exist”, recalls Mathieu Plane, “there are radiation and we must conduct active job search procedures” to continue to receive unemployment benefit. Gabriel Attal affirmed on franceinfo that currently, “out of 100 checks carried out, there are on average 14 people to whom the agents send a message, a warning, or to whom we have to suspend the benefits for a certain time, from one to four months”, up to “what they testify to an active job search”. In 2017, a year and a half after being generalized by Pôle Emploi, out of the nearly 270,000 checks carried out at the time, 14% of job seekers had been deregistered, knowing that among these 14%, more than one thirds (36% of them) were no longer receiving unemployment benefit or benefit for unemployed people at the end of their entitlement.

For Mathieu Plane, the words of the Head of State are therefore rather a matter of “signal sent, that the work must pay, and that we must not have assistantship”. Further controls will not lead job seekers to apply for vacancies currently unfilled at Pôle Emploi, according to him. If the unemployed do not apply for these offers, it is because “the trades are not very interesting”, or that it is “many very short contracts”. “This begs the question of what a reasonable job offer is” for Mathieu Plane, “Of course there are tensions in the labor market but it is also necessary that the contracts offered correspond to the qualification.” The threat of sanction is therefore insufficient, concludes the economist.

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