the opinion of the French on the unemployed hardens

The unemployed ? Of the “assisted” for 42% of French people, who, for the most part, “fraud” to receive allowances for 37%, these being “too high” for 39%… Negative clichés about job seekers die hard, according to the latest edition of the Unédic barometer of the perception of unemployment and employment published on Wednesday December 7 by the insurance management body. unemployment.

Worse even: for nearly one in two French people, ” most of the unemployed are not really looking to find a job” and, for 60%, if the unemployed do not work, it is because“they don’t make any concessions in their job search”.

“Compared to September 2021, we are seeing a hardening of sentiment in two ways, explains Laurence Bedeau, partner at Elabe who conducted the study for Unédic. On the one hand, a slight increase in the level of support for these opinions, but also an increased intensity of these, with people saying they “totally agree” being a marked increase. »

“Anyone can experience unemployment”

Whereas, until now, the working people put more emphasis on the responsibility of companies (excessive demands, reluctance to hire, lack of vacancies, etc.) in unemployment, it is now that of the unemployed which takes precedence.

Indeed 50% of French people believe that these are the main causes of unemployment (+ 7 points compared to September 2021), in particular because “People don’t want to work” (33%, +8) or because of too little control of fraudsters (25%, +4).

“However, it would not be fair to only retain the hardening of opinion with regard to the unemployed”, tempers the opinion specialist who also recalls that, for 63% of French people, unemployment is seen as ” A fatality “that it is “suffered” for 72% and that 95% even consider that “everyone can experience unemployment”.

“The more the situation improves, the more opinion hardens”

“There is now a belief that unemployment can still be part of a career, she explains. More than the fact of losing one’s job, it is remaining unemployed that is increasingly stigmatised. »

A vision that would go hand in hand with the upturn in employment, when 67% of working people and 63% of the unemployed say they “optimists” for their professional future. Moreover, 40% of job seekers (+5 points) consider it likely to find a job within three months.

“The more the situation improves, the more opinion hardens: we can almost superimpose the curve of employment with that of the hardening vis-à-vis job seekers”, notes Laurence Bedeau.

This hardening may come as a surprise even though, according to the barometer, 70% of working people are, more or less, affected by unemployment, 51% having already experienced unemployment and 8% having a relative who is currently unemployed. But it paradoxically reveals a lack of knowledge of the unemployment insurance system to which 59% of French people say they are nevertheless attached.

“Public opinion is built on many misconceptions”

Thus, only 35% of working people are able to correctly estimate the average amount of unemployment benefit (€1,071) and 42% the maximum duration of benefit rights (two years). They are especially 54% to overestimate the unemployment rate, believing it, on average at 15%: only 37% give the right answer (7.4% at the time of the study).

This very partial knowledge of the reality of unemployment seems to be the cause of a very divided vision of the protection enjoyed by the unemployed: 49% think that benefits are a brake on returning to work (against 51% the opposite), 48 % that the average duration of rights is too long (compared to 52%), 40% that the allowances are too high…

“The opinion is built on many misconceptions or received ideas, regrets Laurence Bedeau. This is what makes it difficult to construct an accurate view of the employment situation. »


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