Monday, August 11, 2008

Just Like Paris

Police relationship with Montreal minorities provokes rioting. Just like in Paris. I wonder if some local economic analysis can establish that the problems leading to the confrontation in this neighbourhood are similar to those behind the rioting in Paris.

The riots have a very strong class dimension. They have occurred in France's ghettos by some of the most marginalized French citizens: the unemployed and the poor. For example, while the national unemployment rate is around 10%, nearly 30% of the French of North African descents are out of work.

The French economy's ability to create jobs has declined in recent years. Unemployment has progressively increased from an average of less than 2% in the 1960s, to 4.3% in the first half of the 1970s, 8.9% in the 1980s, and nearly 12% in the second half of the 1990s.

In other words, the bitter fruits of neo-liberalism, failed imperialism and racism. Well, let's see what the job prospects for Montreal Haitians are:

Labour force participants4 of Haitian origin are more than twice as likely to be unemployed as their counterparts in the general population. In 2001, 16.4% of labour force participants of Haitian origin were unemployed, compared with 7.4% of all Canadian labour force participants.

Young people of Haitian origin, especially young men, experience particularly high unemployment rates. In 2001, 24% of all male labour force participants of Haitian origin between the ages of 15 and 24 were unemployed, compared with 14% of all Canadians males in this age group. At the same time, 20% of female labour force participants of Haitian origin between the ages of 15 to 24 were unemployed, compared with 13% of their counterparts in the overall population.

Hmmm. How about that? Anything else? What about racism? Hunh. Turns out that I just can't decide which hit to feature from my google search.

I don't have anything really hopeful to say about this story.

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