Detox. No, French workers are not the most productive in Europe

When Emmanuel Macron said that the French worked less than their European neighbors, Jean-Luc Mélenchon replied on Twitter accusing him of being a liar and making another argument: ” French workers are the most productive in Europe “.

One intox sometimes leads to another. Detox had looked into Emmanuel Macron’s assertion that the French worked less than their European neighbors. Jean-Luc Mélenchon replied on Twitter by accusing him of being a liar and making another argument: ” French workers are the most productive in Europe “.

Except that again, the assertion is exaggerated. In 2019, France rose to 11th place among OECD countries in terms of productivity. A place of honor, tied with Germany, but which does not make France the European champion since it remains behind Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium or Denmark.

Another parameter invites us to put France’s ranking into perspective: employment. Indeed, if it has the same level of productivity as Germany, France also has an employment rate ten points lower than our neighbors across the Rhine. For economist Gilbert Cette, if the country can boast of having high productivity, it is because it leaves the least productive workers on the side of the road.

France could benefit more from its high productivity if it were able to increase its employment rate at the same time. This would imply that the country is able to have more people in productive positions. However, as economist Bruno Amable explained to Désintox, job creation in competitive sectors is one of the weaknesses of the French economy.

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