The nuclear crisis weighs on the economy and 4 other infographics you must not miss

Every week, Financial alternatives chooses you the best graphics. On the menu in this graphic novel: plummeting electricity generation, the boom in telecommuting, the productivity mystery partially illuminated, the energy footprint, a new indicator of wealth and health care costs.

1/ The nuclear crisis weighs on the French economy

This is another way of looking at the crisis in the current electricity system. In addition to the risk of cuts to the electricity grid, the unavailability of nuclear reactors is also heavy with consequences for the activity of the French electricity sector and therefore weighs on the tricolor economy.

As INSEE points out in its latest economic report, “the branch’s activity “energy, water, waste“is in constant decline: its surplus value fell by 17% between the fourth quarter of 2021 and the third quarter of 2022, which is 18% below the level before the health crisis (end of 2019)”.

This is almost entirely due to setbacks from nuclear power, whose output has been at record lows for thirty years. Mechanically, this sector’s contribution to the country’s economic activity is reduced accordingly. During the year 2022, INSEE estimates that the drop in production in the energy, water and waste sector will cost 0.4 points of GDP growth, or around 10 billion euros.

Justin Delepine

2/ Covid has boosted telecommuting… and inequalities

The health crisis had a huge boost: while teleworking slowly spread within the EU, going from 8% of all jobs in 2008 to 11% around ten years later, this share has doubled in two years!

There are obviously large differences from one country to another, with the number of teleworkers varying from 54% in the Netherlands to 6.5% in Bulgaria, according to a Eurofound research report. More generally, the share of teleworkers exceeds a third of the employed in eight countries: in addition to the Netherlands, it is Sweden (46.2%), Luxembourg (45.1%), Finland (41%), Belgium (39.9%) ), Ireland (39.3%), Denmark (36%) and France (34.2%).

But in all countries, notes Eurofound, this proportion has increased significantly. And it has increased all the more strongly as the number of teleworkers was initially low, as in Bulgaria, where it increased from 1.1% to 6.5% between 2019 and 2020.

However, this forced revolution is accompanied by very strong inequalities: not everyone has the luxury of being able to work from home. Teleworking has mainly developed in large cities and among the most qualified employees. This is primarily about managers who work in the services.

“Employees who can afford to telecommute are more often those who can “good jobs”, i.e. positions that are well paid and with high job security”says the report.

We could already make the same observation before the pandemic, but this gap has only widened.

Laurent Jeanneau

3/ Delay in productivity: the failure of part of the work-study program

The mystery begins to unravel. Since the end of incarceration, employment has grown much faster than activity. INSEE, which has been investigating this phenomenon for several months, has found that the wealth produced in relation to the number of employees, i.e. the productivity per inhabitant, fell between the end of 2019 and the end of summer 2022. And this phenomenon is particularly marked in France.

The institute has identified a first culprit: the exchange. The latter represents one in three jobs created in the same period. It must be said that the government has put the package between the policy it already led before Covid, so the help to hire apprentices, which cost 4.4 billion euros in 2021.

But on the one hand, work study students are considered full-time employees, whereas they spend part of their time at school and, on the other hand, their seniority is by definition very low, [ils sont donc] probably, with equal basic qualifications, less productive than other employees”advances INSEE.

By not including work and study trainees, the drop in productivity in the private sector (excluding agriculture) would be half as large, according to the institute, which, however, clarifies that this is a simplified calculation.

INSEE has also observed the drop in hourly productivity (wealth produced/hours worked) and suggests other explanations: for example, the automotive sector, which has faced severe supply difficulties since 2020, is undoubtedly conserving labor; or the unique case of the energy sector, which experiences a drop in electricity production due to maintenance work on nuclear power plants, but “where the workload can be relatively little adjusted to fluctuations in activity”.

Jean-Christophe Catalon

4/ The energy footprint, an indicator of wealth

Energy footprint increases with wealth: a survey of the UK population’s energy consumption by standard of living in 2019 shows. And the results are clear: on average, a person belonging to the richest 10% uses almost three times as much energy as someone from the bottom 20%.

In particular, it concerns the use of the plane to move. The energy footprint of the rich linked to this means of transport is actually five times greater than that of the poor. Even more revealing: just by flying, the richest 10% of Britons use more energy than the poorest 20% combined.

Even by adding together the energy linked to, among other things, heating, to the use of infrastructures and to the means of transport in the most modest social categories, the latter consume less than the richest by stealing.

For the record, 70% of flights from the UK are taken by just 15% of the population, often white and wealthy men aged between 40 and 60. All this in turn highlights the greater responsibility of the wealthy classes in our energy-intensive society, as well as the need to introduce targeted public policies.

Caroline Chambon

5/ Social Security finances the small risk much less

Health expenditure in a limited sense (excluding prevention, long-term care, unemployment benefit, etc.) represents 227 billion euros in 2021. Of this amount, 79% is covered by social security (178 billion euros). euros), 13% by complementary organizations (30 billion euros) and 7% directly by households (16 billion euros).

Behind these large masses hide important inequalities. Naturally, in the ability of households to pay directly for their care and in access to good complementary coverage (collective coverage is generally better, and employees in large companies and SMEs thus have an advantage over the unemployed and inactive). Which is a vector of inequalities.

The differences are also on the side of social security coverage, in the other direction this time. Social security, although imperfect, ensures solidarity between sick and healthy and between rich and poor. Schematically, therefore, the most seriously ill (people with long-term illness or ALD) and the heaviest care (in the hospital) are better reimbursed by Social Security than small daily injuries (a classic consultation with the doctor), as shown by Drees.

A priori, that’s a good thing: Because who can take on an annual healthcare cost of 17,000 euros? Fortunately, Social Security is there!

Yes, but is it normal that routine care is only covered up to 60% of the health insurance? This means that the rest is left to the supplementary health insurance, which is much more unequal. Something to collectively question the care of the healthcare system that we want.

Celine Mouzon

Leave a Comment