The rise in job insecurity in the French workplace


The problem of unemployment is France is well-documented and discussed each month when the latest jobless totals are published. Less well-known, however, is the issue of underemployment affecting people on short-term contracts, in temporary jobs, on workplace experience or those trying to become self-employed. As Mathilde Goanec explains, there are two constant factors in this world of workplace insecurity – a rapid turnover in jobs and ever-greater problems in eventually finding full-time fixed employment.

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Job insecurity, the fear of constantly moving in and out of work, is on the increase in France. Yet it rarely receives anything like the attention show to the issue of unemployment. The problem is that the very word “insecurity” is a catch-all term that can refer to workers with financial problems, unstable professional careers and social poverty. And when a subject is hard to categorise it is often swept quietly under the carpet.