Job Security in France and United States

The phrase "job security" refers to the probability that an individual will maintain his or her job. When a person has a high level of job security, it means that a person has very minimal chances of becoming unemployed. In various nations in the world, some factors that affect job security include individuals' personal skills, the economic conditions, and the employment laws . In addition, some government jobs are considered to be more secure as compared to private sector jobs. Whether employment laws provide citizens with job security is an issue of controversy in many nations all over the world .

Research findings based on job security score have shown that one of the factors that influence job security is the labor or employment laws in a given nation . France and the United states are some of the nations that have experienced changes in job security over the years in this paper, the issue of job security in France and the United States will be discussed with focus being given on the laws. Discussion Job Security in France An empirical analysis of job security in France in the last twenty years indicates that there have been changes in job security.

France is one of European nations which some of the strongest job security laws. Just like in many modern industrialized nations, France continues to face some challenges that relate to the issue of job security. In France, job security laws make it very costly and also difficult for the private employers to fire the employees . Job security laws in France and in the United States have the primary purpose of reducing unemployment by reducing job loss. Although this is the primary focus of the laws, they can impact on other issues of employment .

Job security in France is supported by labor unions which have embarked on efforts to protect employees from losing their jobs. However, job security laws are considered not to be a solution to unemployment. In the country, research findings indicate that unemployment is common, with double-digit unemployment rates being witnessed. This has been attributed to the strong job security laws. Since the laws protect employees from losing their jobs by making it costly and difficult for the employers to fire people, then many employers prefer not to hire people in the first place.

When this happens, many people lack employment when potential employers avoid hiring them. In the recent past, France has witnessed demonstrations and protests which have aimed at having salaries increased and job security laws strengthened. France has job security practices and laws that are much stronger than those in the United States . This has made it hard for some French citizens to acquire jobs as compared to the Americans. This also has made the private sector to offer a low number of employment opportunities to the citizens. However, it is the government’s increased employment has provided people with jobs.

The strong job security laws in France make it expensive for the companies and industries to hire people and when this occurs, demand for labor is reduced. The job security policies that have been put into place in France and other developed nations such as Germany have been very beneficial to the existing workers since they protect the workers from losing their jobs . This however reduces the efficiency and flexibility of the economy. This acts as a set back to the production of wealth which is necessary for the creation of new jobs for the unemployed workers.

Another negative impact of strong job security laws in France is that the employees may be worked overtime when there is need to increase production due to high demand. This is because; employers may find it easy to substitute capital for labor. For example, a company may purchase huge buses rather than use regular size buses and hire more drivers. This increased substitution of labor with capital results to more unemployment. Strong job security laws increase insecurity for those who are unemployed because they feel that there is a low likelihood of being employed .

For example, the young people or mothers who are seeking to re-enter the labor force feel insecure because they consider it very unlikely for them to be hired. In 2006, France tried to ease its stringent job security laws for workers on their first job in efforts to deal with the 23 percent rate of youth unemployment. This made the students at French universities and Sorbonne to participate in riots in Paris and other cities in France to show their opposition to the proposal. Job security laws in France prevent job destruction which leads to the loss of jobs for those who are already employed.

Job destruction can be attributed to bankruptcy, restructuring or outsourcing. Research findings have shown that France strong job security laws have played an important role in preventing job destruction . The laws have been associated with stable employment because firms expect high separation costs when they fire an employee. This makes them more reluctant to expand employment. Furthermore it becomes less profitable for employers to enter into new ventures or to create new firms. In such a case, employment protection as a result of strong job security laws prevents job destruction but also prevents or reduces job creation.

Concerns that have been raised about French job security laws are that they contribute to low job creation which in turn is anticipated to lead to long-term unemployment in future. According to research findings that have been conducted in France and other Organizations for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations, strict job security laws increase employment rates for the adult men but they reduce the employment of women and young workers. This is because young workers and women who may be trying to seek for jobs are unable to acquire employment.

Due to the strong job security laws, France has been criticized for undermining racial equality in employment. Racial equality is advocated for by the International laws of employment which demand that members of racial minority groups should be offered equal employment opportunities just like those who do not belong to the racial minority groups. A regime of general job protection has been linked to racial inequality in relation to employment. In March, 2006, the French employment law raised concern in other nations such as the United States.

The law made over a million people in France stage massive demonstrations against a law that was seen by many as to introduce a small dose of at will employment at work since the law was departing from the France labor code. The labor code aims at protecting the employees from losing their jobs easily. The proposed March 2006 law was meant to allow employers to hire employees who were under the age of twenty six for about two years whereby the employer would be able to terminate an employee for any reason. This contract was referred to as contrat premiere embauch (CPE) in France.

The first employment contract provision was objected and this made the French government to ultimately rescind the law after three weeks of unrest and nation wide strikes in country. In 2005, France had witnessed violent race riots. In efforts to respond to the riots, the government proposed the at-will employment to encourage equality of employment . The French government was trying to address the mass unemployment of youths of North African descent. Through the equality of opportunities law, the at-will employment aimed at enhancing employment opportunities of those who came from the minority groups.

The criticism of French labor code coincided with the calls to strengthen the job security laws that have been applied in France over the last thirty years. The government was also been urged to strengthen the employment discrimination law. The current and historical sociological data has supported the notion that French labor codes and job security protections have made a significant contribution to the employers' propensity to be engaged in irrational or rational discrimination against members of certain minority groups when it comes to hiring.

This has sparked the recent controversy in France over strong job security laws. To address this, proposals for France to adopt at-will employment laws have been made. This would be expected to promote equal employment opportunities and to alleviate racial inequality when it comes to employment . Although the French job security laws are linked to the racial disadvantage when it comes to accessing unemployment, the French labor code prohibits discrimination in employment.

In addition, the laws have been put into place in efforts to protect the employee's rights against an employer’s arbitrary treatment. This is considered to be a good initiative of the French governments in promoting job security. Minimum wage laws in France just like in other nations are considered to play a role in increasing unemployment for the young and unskilled people. The minimum wage in France according to the 2008 law is €8. 71 per hour.