To put this observation into perspective, a comparison between States is necessary at the level of the European Union. On average for the whole, the average unemployment rate is 5.9%, knowing that it is 3.1% for Germany and 3.5% for the Netherlands. Different rules of the game for each explain the differences. For example, Germany has a very high rate of part-time employment (27.2%). The activity rate is 80% in Germany and 84% in the Netherlands.
Measuring the activity rate within the meaning of the ILO
To better understand, it is preferable to think in terms of activity rate. This is the option chosen by the International Labor Office. The activity rate (BIT) at the end of 2023 amounts to 73.8% of the active population. This number concerns 15-64 year olds. With corrections due to seasonal variations, it is estimated at 68.5%.
The real unidentified unemployed amount to 6.6 million. Note that it has not changed since the last study in 2014. Remember that the unemployed receiving compensation are part of the active population. Who are these inactive people?
Who are these inactive people?
By definition, the ILO considers as “inactive” people who do not have a paid professional activity (even at the level of one paid hour per week) and who are not actively looking for work. PFor INSEE, people over the age of 15 who are unemployed and who are no longer receiving unemployment benefits are considered “inactive”. Retirees and those over 64 are not considered “inactive”.
Back to the news
If this evidence is known to everyone, the mandated and governmental authorities avoid talking about it out of simple “forgetting” and a desire not to make it known. Dozens of aid of all kinds, national or local, attempt to compensate and hide the existence of the unemployed. These expenses are a cost that is not always justified for the State and taxpayers. The legal provisions to reduce unemployment compensation are complex. Official bodies are often overwhelmed and the results do not match the efforts made.
Companies, especially medium and small ones, have always been vigilant in recruiting people from unemployment or a long period of work interruption. Perhaps for lack of other recruits, some say, except for low-skilled tasks. Added to this are floating parameters which disrupt decisions: the economic context, the market situation and the state of the company’s finances, its future and its development prospects. Social, employer and salary costs are overflowing. Hiring a new employee becomes a cost and no longer a value-added contribution.
For their part, a significant number of unemployed and unemployed people benefit from the system. Far from being won over by a return to employment, they follow dead-end training and compensate with an undeclared job or their own “undeclared work” before preparing for early retirement.
But daring to say that we are close to full employment is a real deception!