France's unemployment rate is currently hovering around 10 percent, but those numbers are far worse for workers under 25 -- nearly 23 percent.
This is a common problem in European nations, where restrictive labor laws make it difficult to lay off or fire workers. Employers are often reluctant to give inexperienced employees a chance, when they know it'll be relatively difficult to get rid of them if they don't work out. As a result, unemployment rates for under-25s in European nations are astronomically high: 34 percent in Italy, and 52 percent in Spain.
Many young workers in France struggle through unpaid internships or short-term contract labor before finally landing full-time work. President Francois Hollande's hope is that his plan will encourage companies to give the Gen Y set a shot. The downside, of course, is the cost: $2.9 billion dollars, just for next year's program.
The Associate Press reported that one entrepreneur's group wasn't taken with the idea.
"The jobs for the future are only a Band-Aid, if a necessary Band-Aid, in the face of a government that every day shows itself more incapable of overcoming the difficulties our country is confronted with," said Guillaume Cairou, president of the Club of Entrepreneurs. "How can they not see that this cost is extremely high for the government, even while we should be reducing our deficit?"
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