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Experimentation Zero Long-Term Unemployment Zones

Erdmuthe Klaer, REVES Network

Turning public costs of unemployment into opportunities for people and communities

Eliminating long-term unemployment is the ambitious objective of the #TZCLD experimentation which is currently running on 10 ‘micro-territories’ all over France. Initiated by @ATDQM (ATD Quart Monde), the initiative is based on a specific national law allowing for experimentation regarding public spending linked to unemployment  which was adopted in February 2016. The objective is to propose to every (long-term) unemployed of the test territories employment adapted to his/her capacities. Instead of having enterprises offering specific work places, jobs and entrepreneurial activities are created based on an evaluation of competences of the person and of needs of local communities. The initiative is realised in close cooperation between national government, local and regional authorities, (#socialeconomy) enterprises and civil society.

Unemployment costs (benefits) are redirected towards the financing of a ‘complementary’ local economy that would not be in competition with already existing local enterprises.

The experimentation, which is running for 5 years, is based on a «Macro-economic study on the costs of long-term unemployment», realised by ATD Quart Monde in 2015. The study focused on a specific target group: job seekers not covered by the unemployment insurance falling under three specific categories (A,B or C) who represented then 39,6 % of all job seekers. Using figures as at 31 December 2013, ATD Quart Monde calculated public depenses (direct and indirect, including costs such as the operating costs of employment agencies, social expenses or other costs incurred in areas such as housing, health or child welfare) as well as the loss of tax income and social security contributions. Results of this calculation enabled the organisation to identify the amount of financing to be transferred to generate employment. Local tests are closely followed by several universities and public and private research structures at national and local level (#Dares, @KPMG, CLERSE @univ_lille, @ANSA_asso) which are analysing the economic impact of the project, including aspects such as employability, quality of jobs created, but also social inclusion, social dialogue, impact on public policies in general etc.

The association #TZCLD will be holding its first Summer University on 1 September, 2018 in Paris. For more information: