PARIS (AP) - The French government is offering to pay most of the salaries of 100,000 young people hired next year in the hopes of driving down the country's unemployment rate.
France's unemployment rate is 10 percent, but 22.8 percent for those under 25. French employers are especially reluctant to hire young people because restrictive labor laws make it very hard for companies to lay off new employees.
Under the plan, unveiled at a Cabinet meeting Wednesday, companies that hire people between 16 and 25 for at least a year will only have to pay 25 percent of their salary.
The government estimates that the plan will cost (EURO)2.3 billion ($2.9 billion) in 2013. It plans to add another 50,000 contracts in 2014.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)