Economic Alternatives selected for you the best charts of the week. For this new graphorama, we take stock of changes in employer contributions to the minimum wage, the use of private jets, the number of resignations since the health crisis, the evolution of French tolerance and organic in their consumption.
1/ Smic: thirty years of reduction on employer contributions
To encourage companies to hire low-skilled people, successive governments have deemed it necessary to reduce the cost of labor on the lowest wages. To do this, they have multiplied the devices aimed at reducing the contributions and contributions paid by employers.
As a result, the employer contribution rate has been divided by six in thirty years, from 42.6% to 6.9%, we read in the latest report from the Social Security Accounts Commission published in July.
The first wave of reductions took place in 1993 with the reduction of family allowance contributions, then of those for health insurance in 1996, followed by exemptions granted to compensate for the increase in the cost of labor induced by the 35-hour working week between 2000 and 2005.
These devices were previously aimed at social security contributions. Those outside this scope had increased, mainly due to the rise in supplementary pension rates.
From the 2010s, with the CICE (2013), the responsibility pact (2015), then the changeover of the CICE to permanent reductions (2019), all employers’ contributions (Sécu and non-Sécu) are now concerned.
Without all these measures, the rate of employers’ contributions to the minimum wage would be 47% today. They therefore allow a massive drop of 40 points, inducing a shortfall amounting to billions of euros that the State must compensate for each year in the accounts of the Secu.
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2/ Sea, jets and sun
enough rich denigrate !, was annoyed government spokesman Olivier Véran following the controversy over the pollution of private jets. These are above all “commercial transport, with great responsiveness”tried to defend the minister on France Inter on August 23, also ensuring that the private use of the jets would not represent “only a very small part of their use”. What to twist the neck to the proposal of the deputy and national secretary of EELV, Julien Bayou, to ban them.
However, private jets do not just take their owners or other wealthy tenants from one center of economic decision-making to another. It would seem that they are also taking the path of the beach and holidays, points out the NGO Transport & Environment (T&E), which studied the distribution of private flights over the year 2019.
“Within the European Union, almost 50% of the annual total of private jet flights is carried out from May to September, with a peak observed in July”note their report published last year. This is even more obvious in France, where 55% of annual flights are made over the same period.
Additional proof of the heliotropism of the rich, the city of Nice holds the palm of the most popular destinations. It even sees its traffic triple when the good weather arrives! But no doubt ordinary citizens are too short-sighted to understand that it is in the heart of summer, on the shimmering shores of the Côte d’Azur, that the most crucial decisions for the future of the world economy.
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3/ Resignations: a wave, not a tsunami
Between the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022, 520,000 employees, including 470,000 on permanent contracts, gave up their apron. What immediately make the parallel with the phenomenon of ” big stop ” – Where ” big resignation ” in the USA. The extent of the phenomenon is however to be put into perspective, points out a study by Dares, and this on both sides of the Atlantic.
Not only are these waves of resignations classic – in a period of growth, the job market is more dynamic than in a phase of decline in activity – but they are recurrent. In relation to the number of employees, the resignation rate stood at 2.7% in the first quarter of 2022 compared to 2.9% before the financial crisis of 2008-2009.
Ditto in the United States: 30% of employees voluntarily changed creameries after the Covid crisis, but these are movements of the same magnitude as the manufacturing industry experienced in the 1950s, 1960s or 1970s.
The DARES also puts forward “reassuring” additional indicators with an employment rate which also continues to progress for all age groups. Without any witchcraft, these resignations are much less due to voluntary withdrawals from the labor market than to “Labour poaching behaviors between companies”continues the study. In France, eight out of ten resigners in the second half of 2021 had found a job within six months.
For the lucky ones courted, these recruitment difficulties translate, according to the first surveys, into salary increases and concessions offered to candidates (CDI, telework, etc.).
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4/ Immigration, minorities: French people more open than ever
Candidacy of Eric Zemmour, presence of Marine Le Pen in the second round of the presidential election, election of 89 RN deputies… During the first months of 2022, the public debate hardly seemed to be open to the diversity of origins and respect for minorities. And yet, according to the latest edition of the report on the fight against racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia commissioned by the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights (CNCDH), the French have never been as tolerant as This year !
From a cyclical point of view, this can be explained by a “thermostatic effect”: historically, tolerance regressed when a left-wing government was in power and progressed under the right. The French population thus seems to have characterized (not without reason) Macron’s first five-year term by a certain “cultural” conservatism and reacted accordingly.
But this record also reflects long-term developments favorable to growing tolerance, in particular the rise in the level of qualifications, in connection with the renewal of the generations themselves increasingly diverse (increasing proportion of individuals with parents or immigrant grandparents).
This increased tolerance benefits all minorities, without erasing the particular stigmatization to which the Roma and Travellers are subject. More than six out of ten French people continue to believe that these groups are “apart from society”, while less than three out of ten think the same for Muslims, Jews, Asians or North Africans.
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5/ Organic farming: running out of steam?
Air hole or permanent failure? For the first time in France, the share of organic in French food purchases has stopped growing. It reached 6.6% in 2021, the same level as in 2020.
Beyond an effect of the economic situation (sales of organic products had soared during the first confinement in 2020), a report by the Court of Auditors published in June points to the inadequacy of public support for the organic sectors, both from downstream side than upstream. In the current state of aid, the achievement of the new national objective of reaching 18% of organic agricultural area in 2027 against 10.3% in 2021 (well below the European ambition of reaching 25% in 2030 ) is “far from assured”say the sages of rue Cambon.
The abolition of maintenance aid in 2017 (which organic producers received after the extinction of installation aid at the end of the first five years) slowed down conversions from 2020, points out the Court. It also denounces the fact that farmers cultivating under undemanding specifications (the High Environmental Value label) now benefit from support equivalent to organic producers (after the end of their conversion aid) for a much lower environmental service.
The report of the Court of Auditors points to the insufficiency of State funding in addition to European aid earmarked for organic (35 million euros in 2020, or 17% of all payments to organic farmers). The document also makes the connection between this limited support and the annual costs of water treatment linked to pesticides and nitrogenous fertilizers which vary between 540 and 970 million euros per year, while the depollution of all groundwater would have a cost ten times greater.
Antoine de Ravignan
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