Sunday, July 15, 2012

France in Denial

Francois Hollande, the new Socialist leader of France, is the new Obama of Europe.  Peugeot announced last week that they were laying off 10,000 employees in order to "return to profitability."  Naturally, Hollande responded with a government inquiry and statements that implied that the government would never permit the layoffs, by this private company, to take place.  And you wonder why no one wants to hire anyone in France?

If that isn't enough, Hollande responded that labor costs in France, now averaging 34.20 Euros per hour were not all that high.  Do the numbers.  34.20 times a 35 hour work week (mandated by French law) means 1,197 euros per week.  With four weeks off per year, (also mandated by French law), that means hiring someone in France cost 57,456 euros per year, or approximately $ 69,000 per year.  Gee, at that price, why not load up?

Good luck with that.  An 11 percent unemployment rate is just the beginning.  Look for a bull market in France in the unemployment numbers!