PARIS — The French government is offering to pay most of the salaries of tens of thousands of young people hired next year, as part of President Francois Hollande’s promise to fight unemployment.
France’s unemployment rate is 10 percent, but 22.8 percent for those under 25, an imbalance that much of Europe is struggling with.
French employers are reluctant to hire young people because restrictive labor laws make it hard for companies to lay off employees. In addition, many industries require a series of often unpaid internships before landing a full-time job or offer only short-term contracts for those starting out.
Under the plan, unveiled at a Cabinet meeting Wednesday, companies that hire a person between 16 and 25 for at least a year will have to pay as little as 25 percent of the salary.