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French jobless decry social stigma on top of economic distress

Ramin Mazaheri
Press TV, Rome

At a time of record inflation and soaring energy costs the jobless are fighting to be heard in France’s presidential election campaign. Top charities have compiled a report which prioritizes the ideas and experiences of the unemployed.

France’s army of unemployed were the first social group to be hurt by the coronavirus lockdowns, and they’ll be the last to enjoy the recovery. The nation’s top religious charities compiled a report “The Words of the Unemployed” to show the cruelty of adding harsh social judgments to economic and personal distress.

The report and the unemployed strongly encourage spending tax money and time on collectives, associations and social groupings which give the jobless a place for regular human contact, discussions and the chance to work with people again on worthwhile projects.

A whopping 60 percent of the unemployed say their biggest obstacle in returning to the workforce is a lack of decent jobs. They report scores of competitors for every single job opening in their field. It’s a complaint of frustration which has been heard often, ever since the Age of Austerity started.

Since 2008 French unemployment has risen over 30 percent. Today top French economists put the real unemployment rate at over 20 percent, as part-time work has exploded in a country where it used to be almost non-existent.

The unemployed say they aren’t listened to, but talked down to, typified by President Emmanuel Macron’s 2018 instructions to an actual job seeker that he could merely “cross the street” and find a job.

In almost five years Macron’s neoliberal revolution has provoked massively repressed protests but only barely reduced unemployment from it’s all time high in 2017 of 6.3 million people.

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