Would the French Employment Plan Work in the U.S.?

24/7 Wall St.

Francois Hollande, the president of France, wants his government to spend roughly $2.5 billion to create 150,000 jobs in 2012 and 2013. The details of the program are complex. The central government would subsidize the hiring of young people. Many of those targeted would lack advanced educations. Hollande understands it is more difficult for people in this demographic segment to find jobs. American policy makers should ask if a similar plan might work in the United States.

The youth unemployment rate in most developed nations is as much as double what it is for people who are over 25. The numbers are worse for young people who do not have college educations. To address the job prospects of these people would be to attack one of the single most difficult problems in the labor market. Employers in developed nations continue to use weak jobs markets to hire highly qualified and highly educated workers, even for jobs that would often…

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