precariousness In its annual report published on Thursday, Secours Catholique highlights the increasingly precarious living conditions of people who have been unemployed for a long time
The weight of constrained expenses (rent, energy, insurance, telephone, etc.) is increasingly heavy in the budget of the most precarious French people, including the long-term unemployed. — Canva
- In its annual report published this Thursday, Secours Catholique draws an inventory of poverty in France, through the prism of the people it welcomes (nearly one million in 2021).
- The association notes an increase in the proportion of long-term unemployed people among its beneficiaries in 2021 compared to 2020 (+ 5,000).
- For those who no longer receive unemployment benefit, daily life looks like even more like an obstacle course.
They are unemployed and their financial situation is increasingly difficult. In its annual report on the state of poverty in France, which appears this Thursday, the Secours Catholique underlines the worrying situation of the long-term unemployed, that is to say those who have been looking for a job for more than a year . In France, nearly 2.5 million people registered with Pôle emploi were in this case in the third quarter of 2022, according to data published at the end of October by the Ministry of Labour. An underestimated figure According to Jean-Christophe Sarrot, head of the Employment-Training department of ATD Fourth World: “We can double it, because many long-term unemployed people are no longer registered at; Pôle emploi and disappear from the radar.”
Secours Catholique has noted an increase in the proportion of long-term unemployed people receiving benefits among its beneficiaries in 2021 compared to 2020 (+ 5,000). They now represent 60% of the unemployed people supported by the association. An increase which can be explained in particular by the effects of the Covid-19 crisis: “During the health crisis and just after, the companies most in difficulty first tried to improve to maintain their permanent jobs. On the other hand, many employees on fixed-term and temporary contracts have lost their jobs,” explains Jean Merckaert, action and advocacy director of Secours Catholique.
Less unemployment benefits high
The association also points out that in ten years, the length of seniority’ in unemployment among people received by Secours Catholique went from 1.6 years to 2.6 years. However, the longer the unemployment lasts, the greater the risk of a loss of employability. is important. “And the longer the duration of unemployment, the greater the insecurity. of the person and that of his growing family,” emphasizes Jean Merckaert. Even when on unemployment benefit, many long-term unemployed have become impoverished in recent years.
Jean-Christophe Sarrot provides an explanation: “The various reforms of unemployment insurance in recent years have all gone in the same direction: the dice; knitting rights for the unemployed and tightening the conditions for receiving compensation.” An effect that Jean Merckaert was also able to observe: “The change in the method of calculating unemployment benefits had the effect of lowering the amount of benefits and reducing the duration of unemployment benefits. compensation.”
Constrained expenses weigh heavier
Another cause: the increasingly heavy burden of constrained expenses (rent, energy, insurance, telephone…). According to Secours Catholique, these expenses absorb on average nearly 60% of the income of households in precarious situations, compared to 30% for the entire population living in France. “Half” of the households we help have enough to live on of less than 5 euros per day and per person. However, we consider that a minimum of 7 euros per day is needed for food,” emphasizes Jean Merckaert. The association’s concern is all the greater as the shock of inflation has not yet produced its full effects.
The situation is even worse for the long-term unemployed who no longer receive unemployment benefit. The duration of compensation by unemployment insurance cannot exceed two years for those who are under 53 years old, two and a half years for those who are 53 or 54 years old, and three years for 55 or older. So much so that “in France, only 40 % of the unemployed receive an allowance. A large proportion of the long-term unemployed have exhausted their their rights,” says Jean-Christophe Sarrot. Most of these people receive the RSA (i.e. 598.54 euros for a single person) or the solidarity allowance. specific (536.95 euros per month paid for 6 months). Income that just allows them to survive.
Tracks to better support them
Moreover, some do not even receive the social minima. In 2021, between 29% and 40% of households received by Secours Catholique did not receive the RSA, even though they were entitled to it. “This non-appeal is explained by the cumbersome administrative procedures which discourage some people,” explains Jean Merckaert.
To get these long-term job seekers out of the doldrums, there are solutions. “It is necessary to develop territories with zero long-term unemployment. Because they allow these people to reintegrate through a quality job,even if theirremuneration does not exceed the minimum wage. There will be 60 in 2023”, explains Jean-Christophe Sarrot. Jean Merckaert also believes that we must “improve the support for these people, in particular by offering them training”. An approach already hired by Pole emploi 200,000 long-term job seekers in 2021, and will continue in 2022.
Secours Catholique also believes that the government must initiate a determined policy against the non-use of social minima. The government plans to launch “early 2023 experiments” to test the automatic payment of social benefits. A first step.