Cheese Eating Jobs Machine

On his blog today, Paul Krugman has a nice shout-out to a report that Dean Baker and I wrote for CEPR way back in 2006.

In that eight-year-old report, Dean and I made the point that, despite widespread crowing about the US “jobs machine,” 25-to-54 year olds (what economists sometimes call “prime-age” workers) were more likely to have a job in France than in the United States.

Today, Krugman posts an eye-popping chart documenting that the gap between the United States and France has grown to a chasm:

Employment rates 25-54 year olds, US and France, 2000-2013

Source: Paul Krugman, 2014.

The French employment advantage among the “prime-age” population is much bigger now than in it was before the Great Recession.

The same chart also shows that the gap between the two countries is narrowing slowly. US employment rates are creeping up. And French employment rates are falling steadily –dragged down by the weight of Europe’s deeply misguided commitment to economic austerity.

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