“We are at 7% unemployment rate, wake up! »: Emmanuel Macron shakes up business leaders

“We are at 7% unemployment rate, wake up!  »: Emmanuel Macron shakes up business leaders

A little over a month ago, during the debate in the Assembly around the “law for full employment”, including in particular the criticized reform of the RSA, the Minister of Labor Olivier Dussopt affirmed : the objective of achieving full employment by 2027 is “still achievable”, he said. Going from 5% unemployment rate to 5%, “it’s not yet won”, nevertheless argued this Tuesday morning the President of the Republic in front of a hundred business leaders invited to the Élysée.

The unemployment rate recorded a slight increase in the third quarter, to 7.4% of the active population in France (excluding Mayotte), compared to 7.2% in the second quarter, marking at best a pause in the decline, at worst a inversion of the curve in the wrong direction.

“Leader of the rope”

By presenting a new program to support the rise of certain small and medium-sized businesses, Emmanuel Macron wanted the bosses’ straps, praising his policy of reforms and the need to continue them. In an allusion to his controversial metaphor of “first in line” and the economic theory of trickle-down, he lamented having been “sometimes caricatured”. “I very sincerely believe that, when we help volunteers to succeed, in any case to facilitate the rise, they pull many others behind them,” pleaded the president, displaying his “passion” still “intact” to support the entrepreneurship.

According to him, these reforms are what “allowed us to go from just over 9% unemployment in 2017 to 7% this year”. “We see that we are on a plateau. It’s not won yet, we are not at full employment,” he added, while welcoming this drop which occurred even though “many of our neighbors who were in much better shape situation stagnated or even had a situation that was deteriorating.”

“Redouble efforts on major reforms”

“In many of your sectors, we still have a lot of unfilled jobs even though we are at 7% unemployment. So which means that we have not arrived,” he insisted, at a time when some in the presidential camp are pleading for new, potentially unpopular reforms to achieve full employment. “I see with concern” the “ambient discourse” which would plead to “go back on the reforms, to put a pause”, added Emmanuel Macron. Especially not, according to him: “Wake up! I tell you in all sincerity, wake up! We are at 7% unemployment rate”, “we are not there”, he insisted.

The Head of State promised to “redouble efforts on major reforms” and to “redouble courage and energy in matters of work and employment”, “because it takes courage to make the reforms”.

A helping hand for ETIs, mid-sized companies

In particular, he launched ETIncelles, a program aimed at increasing the number of mid-sized companies (ETI) in France by removing the “administrative obstacles” hindering the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). “All the time spent on administration is time you’re wasting,” he said.

France has only 5,600 mid-sized companies compared to around 10,000 in Germany. However, these companies, which employ between 250 and 4,999 employees or achieve a turnover of at least 50 million euros, are “an opportunity for the country and a real lever”, underlined the president, because they generate of jobs, anchored in the territories and often exporting. 500 SMEs with strong growth potential by 2027 are offered personalized support and a single contact to remove administrative obstacles to their growth. Some 45 correspondents in the administration and public authorities were mobilized for this purpose. “It’s a small team that helps you deal with the complexity of the most structuring projects and saves you time,” explained the president.

This personalized support, planned over a period of 12 to 18 months, has already benefited 50 SMEs during a pilot phase which, among other problems, allowed companies to report a lack of visibility on public aid, difficulties in recruitment or complicated access to public procurement. Fifty others were selected. According to the Élysée, “the reservoir” of SMEs with high potential is estimated at around 20,000.


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