The fact that the unemployment rate in France continues to be almost 10% is a constant source of worry for the French, now even for the best qualified among them. Nevertheless, as the baby-boomers reach retirement age, major changes are forecast for the working population and for the French labour market.
In this article Alain Parant analyses changes in the French population in the past, present and future and their possible consequences for employment. Nothing can stop the ageing of the population in the next few years, he says, but it is difficult to predict what effect this will have for the population as a whole, since demographic change also depends on factors such as fertility and immigration. One thing is certain: France paradoxically has one of the highest rates of underemployment of older workers in Europe.
In the near future the rapid ageing of the French population could be accompanied by continuing high levels of unemployment and underemployment. It remains to be seen whether these phenomena will occur simultaneously or with a lag, Alain Parant explains, and that will depend in part on how the French government and French businesses react.