France Abandons 35-Hour Work Week

In case you missed it, France recently decided to abandon its absurd experiment with a mandatory 35-hour work week. The 35-hour week was introduced by the then Socialist government in France 10 years ago as a way to combat unemployment.
According to a story from CBS News, despite being widespread popularity:

The original 35-hour workweek — introduced on a voluntary basis in 1998 and made compulsory two years later — has failed to create the promised millions of jobs.
A parliamentary committee chaired by conservative deputy Herve Novelli last year claimed the shorter workweek had cost the state upward of euro10 billion (US$13 billion) a year. It also disputed a labor ministry report that it had created 350,000 jobs in its first five years. Novelli welcomed Tuesday’s vote, saying the 35-hour law had brought a “salary stagnation that is now difficult to emerge from.”

Despite the 35-hour work week, France’s unemployment rate has remained stubbornly higher than the US and most other nations.
Certainly, New Mexico has not embarked upon such an unwise experiment, but what is the difference between mandating wage rates and limiting the number of hours worked? Kudos to France!

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