What It’s Like Being An American On Unemployment In France

A comparison of the American and French social welfare systems.

Joshua Edward
8 min readJan 7, 2022

To be unemployed in America is to be marked with shame and humiliation. In France, the experience is vastly different. The French view not having a job as being similar to not having a spouse — eventually, you’ll probably find someone, you just haven’t met the right person yet. I have experienced unemployment in both countries, and I can attest that the American way of dealing with joblessness is way worse.

While it’s not common to hear it, France and America actually have a lot in common. Both countries share a long history together and run on similar forms of government that were born out of similar ideas and revolutions. France is actually responsible for the very existence of the USA since it was France who joined the colonial revolutionaries in their fight for independence. A couple of decades later, the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, handed the keys to western expansion over to the Americans in the form of the Louisiana Purchase.

In a rare twist of history, the two countries have never been at war with each other, rather they have been close allies throughout several major conflicts.

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Joshua Edward

Left the USA for Europe as a solo parent and raised a kid in a foreign land.