Provence & Côte d'Azur: The AIFI released some worrying figures yesterday about the strong presence of unemployment among young graduates
Graduates face France’s job market realities
Graduate unemployment is still a chronic problem and is affecting thousands of young people in France, the world’s fifth-largest economy. Alarming figures revealed yesterday by the AFIJI, a French association which helps young graduates find their first jobs, show that only 43 per cent of 2011 graduates are currently in working positions, 42 per cent of which are only employed on a temporary basis. The economic crisis, it says, has forced many experienced employers to take up lower-paid positions – those which are usually offered to graduates. Difficulties in the job market have led to a rising trend in graduates opting to do an internship, in some cases unpaid. The study was carried out on a sample of 1,065 young graduates with degree marks of at least bac+2, registered at the AFIJ.
Out of the 57 per cent of unemployed graduates, 61 per cent have this year undertaken a transitional job program, while 44 per cent have managed to obtain a temporary contract of no more than three months.
“Entering the job market always seems like a long and tedious process,” claimed a representative of the AFIJ yesterday to French newspaper le Parisien “and now the majority of students are all competing with each other to gain work placements.”
This is one of the first biggest challenges of the new left-wing government. Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault held his first meeting yesterday with unions to discuss the growing problems in the job market. Ayrault will now have to undertake the difficult task of performing François Hollande’s promises of reversing the rising rate of unemployment.