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The next Step: the Return of Mass Unemployment

A social and economic crisis will emerge in the wake of the current major health crisis that affects already 210 countries and territories around the world. There is little doubt that we will soon be faced with an extremely strained employment situation. And of course, massive unemployment inevitably means greater social exclusion and poverty. The current crisis is absolutely very serious. But above all it is very unpredictable and probably harsher than we anticipated. We are already witnessing an unprecedented collapse of the economic activity worldwide. And social protection systems, where available, will have to suffer a long and strong stress test with the sharp increase of unemployment. The cost of the confinement and isolation in many countries is estimated to nearly a third of the economic activity which is considerable. In fact, many sectors of the industry around the world have plunged into a partial inactivity. To highlight the problem let us take the example of France and Germany. The capacity utilisation rate in the industry sector is around 80% in Germany and 56% in France. And the capacity utilisation rate in the construction sector is around 80% in Germany and 20% in France (Re.Socotec). We enter a new world and must prepare to a massive increase of short time working. And we enter an uncertain world with an increased risk of social explosion.

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