Budget 2023: a spectacular but partly sham increase in employment credits

Posted Sep 26, 2022, 6:49 PMUpdated on Sep 26, 2022 at 7:23 PM

With 20.7 billion planned against 14.5 billion in the initial finance law of 2022, i.e. 6.2 billion more, the credits of the Ministry of Labor included in the draft budget for 2023 presented on Monday show the strongest increase ( +42%!), ahead of Ecology and National Education. “This is a budget resolutely oriented towards full employment and in favor of learning”, is welcomed in the entourage of the Ministers of Labour, Olivier Dussopt, and of Education and Professional Training, Carole Grandjean, even if the reality of the financial effort is somewhat embellished for reasons of comparison perimeters.

The draft budget includes enough to start the France work project to ensure consistency between all the actors responsible for helping the unemployed. Ditto for the reform of the accompaniment of the beneficiaries of the RSA within the framework of a dozen experiments. Nearly 1,000 fixed-term jobs from Pôle Emploi will also be renewed to help those furthest from the job market. The credits of the youth engagement contract, the last major social measure of Macron’s first five-year term, will be renewed up to 1.7 billion. Note another 1.3 billion – a record – planned for integration through economic activity.

From exceptional to sustainable

However, most of the additional 6.2 billion displayed for 2023 comes from elsewhere. From three positions precisely: aid for hiring work-study trainees, new allocation to France competences (the regulatory body for vocational training), and continuation of the regional pacts of the training plan for the unemployed, the PIC. As these three items are also partially or totally financed this year via the Recovery Plan, the increase in the ministry’s budget, which is only based on the comparison with the 2022 finance law, is therefore overestimated.

Of how much ? When questioned, the entourages of Olivier Dussopt and Carole Grandjean preferred not to commit to a figure. Rightly because part of the answer will only be known in December with the result of the 2022 alternation campaign. “The Ministry of Labor was the most concerned with the emergency and the recovery. There is therefore a problem of readability at constant field ”, we explain. Be that as it may, the 2023 draft budget clearly demonstrates the desire to make permanent the exceptional measures decided at the height of the Covid epidemic.

Amounts still “indicative”

This is the case of the bonus of 5,000 euros for hiring a minor work-study student, 8,000 beyond the age of 18, even if there was help before the Covid. At this stage, the 2023 draft budget plans to renew a substantial effort, to the tune of 3.7 billion, or 400 million more. This envelope remains indicative. Everything will depend on consultation with the social partners to redefine the criteria for awarding the bonus and, of course, the number of apprenticeship or professionalization contracts signed next year.

The sequel promises to be less festive. The budget trajectory presented on Monday provides for 16.87 and 16.15 billion in credits respectively for 2024 and 2025, down sharply from the volume envisaged for next year. At this stage, the ministry does not dwell on the details, evoking still “indicative” amounts which will depend, again in particular, on the evolution of aid for work-study.

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