Historical Unemployment Rate in France: 1970 to 2010
"Americans today are alarmed that unemployment has stayed around 9 percent for so long. But such unemployment rates have been common for years in Western European welfare states that have followed policies similar to policies being followed currently by the Obama administration (see chart above of the jobless rate in France
Those European welfare states have not only used the taxpayers' money to hand out "free" benefits to particular groups, they have mandated that employers do the same. Faced with higher labor costs, employers have hired less labor."
MP: What is both really interesting and depressing (if it were to happen here) is that the annual unemployment rate in France was below 3% every year from 1970 to 1974, and then since 1984 it's been at or above 8% every year, with just a few exceptions.