Unédic anticipates a surplus from 2022

Unemployment insurance accounts are recovering at a rapid pace: from 2022, they could become surplus again, to the tune of 1.5 billion euros, after recording a historic deficit in 2021 (- 17.4 billion euros ) under the effect of the recession triggered by the Covid-19 epidemic. This is what the ” Financial forecast “ published on Friday, October 22, by Unédic, the association co-administered by the social partners which manages the compensation system for job seekers. This improvement is all the more attention given that, in June, the managers of the regime expected a hole of 2.4 billion euros for 2022.

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If the situation is improving faster than expected, it is partly attributable to the rebound in activity, which is “Quite spectacular”, as Eric Le Jaouen, President (Medef) of Unédic, noted during a press conference on Friday. In the first half of the year, the level of employment increased at a rate that ” exceeded “ all scenarios “Of the different institutes”, indicates the note disseminated by the services of the regime. Over the whole of 2021, the number of jobs created would reach 498,000. An increase which stimulates the inflow of social contributions while reducing the expenditure on allowances.

In this context, Unédic will be used less and less to finance support measures for businesses and workers: recourse to short-time work, for which it spent 7.5 billion euros in 2020, will become residual in 2022. At the same time, the mechanism for extending rights to compensation is due to end. The burden on the regime will therefore ease.

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Debt exploded

Last element which contributes to the consolidation of the accounts: the reform of unemployment insurance, which was drawn up by means of a decree. It results in a new method of calculating the benefit, less favorable for some job seekers, and in a tightening of the conditions required to benefit from the system. Result: from “Lower expenses” for Unédic, estimated at 1.86 billion in 2022 and at 2.22 billion in 2023. However, there is still some uncertainty about the continued implementation of these changes: the unions are opposed, through a request to background that the Council of State should examine before the end of the autumn.

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If the return to better fortune seems well underway, the joint association is not at the end of its troubles. “The crisis is not a parenthesis ready to close, as if nothing had happened”, declared Patricia Ferrand, vice-president (CFDT) of Unédic, adding that the situation was “Not easy for the diet”. Debt, already massive before the onset of recession, exploded: from 36.8 billion euros at the end of 2019, it could drop to 64.7 billion in 2021, before falling slightly to 60.9 billion in 2023 To meet its cash flow requirements, Unédic has taken out loans on the markets. “In a low interest rate environment”, although “The cost of debt remains low”. But current inflationary pressures are likely to spur an upturn
the rent of the money, which the plan could pay the price.

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