the public accounts are back in the positive and a spectacular surplus is looming

Unemployment insurance accounts are doing well. It is even a first for 14 years: the financial balance will be positive at the end of 2022. The surplus will be 2.5 billion euros, according to forecasts published on Wednesday June 8 by Unedic, l association piloted by the social partners which manages the system of compensation for job seekers. Despite everything, unemployment insurance remains very indebted after the Covid-19 crisis, with more than 60 billion euros in debt in total.

This balance, which has not been seen for many years, is linked to sharply falling expenditure, thanks to the reduction in the number of unemployed since many jobs have been created this year. Opposite, revenues are increasing significantly because many positions have been filled. Finally, inflation drives wages and therefore contributions upwards.

The unemployment insurance reform is another factor to be taken into account. It was set up last year, after a long standoff with the unions. By tightening the rules of compensation for the unemployed, this reform makes it possible to save money.

Unions and employers, who manage the unemployment insurance system, remain rather optimistic for the future despite the war in Ukraine and inflation. According to them, the unemployment rate should continue to fall and stabilize around 7% of the active population. The budget surplus would therefore continue to increase, with more than three billion euros expected next year, and more than four billion in 2024.

In this context, Emmanuel Macron wants to carry out a new reform to bring the unemployed back to work as quickly as possible, he said again on June 3 in an interview with the regional press. He wants to replace Pôle emploi with a one-stop shop called France Travail and change the compensation rules again. His project is to modulate the unemployment insurance system according to the economic situation.

In other words, the worse the employment situation, the more generous the unemployment benefit. On the other hand, when the labor market is buoyant, the rules are more restrictive for job seekers. The unions do not agree, which promises a new battle with the government.

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