Unemployment insurance: the reform project supported by public opinion


As with its pension reform plan, the government knows it will face opposition from unions on unemployment insurance. With one downside, and size: if they are mainly opposed to the decline of the legal age, the French support the reverse and just as mainly the changes envisaged in the rules of compensation for Unédic. This is what emerges from the Elabe poll for “Les Echos”, “Classical Radio” and the Montaigne Institute.

Produced online between the 1er and August 3, this shows that 60% of French people say they are “in favor” of the changes envisaged. Specifically, 11% of them say they are “very”, 49% “rather”. As a reminder, it is a question of ensuring that the rules of compensation stick to the economic situation: more restrictive when the economic situation, therefore employment, is favorable and vice versa .

Improved picture

Support erodes (53%) when it comes to declining this modularity region by region, like what is done in Canada as pointed out by the Minister of Labor Olivier Dussopt, even if this perspective would come up against in France the constitutional principle of non breach of equality.

It is the voters of Emmanuel Macron, Eric Zemmour and the wealthiest households who are the most favorable to these reform projects. The electorate on the left and the most modest households are much more divided. Beyond the political divisions, the support undoubtedly originates in the improvement of the image that the French have of unemployment insurance, analyzes the president of Elabe, Bernard Sananès.

Credit to Emmanuel Macron

In four years, the proportion of those who believe that unemployment insurance works “well” has gained 12 points to reach 53%. Without confining to the plebiscite, the reversal is notable. It finds its source in part in the support of the Macron, right-wing and Le Pen electorate for the reforms of the previous five-year term and more probably in the current favorable climate of falling unemployment, according to the polling institute.

Associated with unemployment insurance, partial activity – an anti-dismissal weapon deployed with the Covid – has proven its worth. Last year’s tightening of compensation rules is seen as beneficial. Beneficial, but not sufficient: for nearly six out of ten French people, the main reason for the still high unemployment rate (it is 7.3% of the working population, down) is that they do not encourage return to employment. Insufficient wages are the second reason cited (42%).

“Finally, the French give credit to Emmanuel Macron for the favorable results of employment”, summarizes Bernard Sananès. Favorable, but not to the point of believing in the objective of full employment set by the Head of State by 2027. Only 24% of respondents consider it credible.

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