Expenditure on employment is a financial measurement of efforts made by the nation in the fight for employment and against unemployment. It includes compensation for unemployment and employment policy actions carried out by the ministry in charge of employment, as well as by other administrations (agriculture, economy and finances, etc.). For the latter, only those actions apply that are based on an explicit criterion of creating (or maintaining) employment, or of leaving the job market.
As such, expenditure on employment includes :
- Compensation for total unemployment (unemployment benefits) ;
- Incentives to retire from activity (early retirement) ;
- Continuing professional training ;
- The promotion of employment and the creation of jobs ;
- Activity incentives ;
- Maintenance of employment (compensation for partial unemployment and various measures to support restructuring) ;
- Efforts to perfect the functioning of the job market (Pôle Emploi functioning).
Each year, the Minister for Employment lists and analyses the efforts made by the authorities to favour employment and combat unemployment. Social policies such as the RMI are not taken into consideration. The measures to bring down the cost of labour (lower social contributions on low wages, or aid in the adaptation and reduction of working time, general reductions) are not included in the DPE, but are instead presented as an autonomous series.
The DPE is traditionally broken down into expenditure known as "passive" (categories 1 and 2) corresponding to income substitution benefits, and that known as "active" which follows the aspects of employment policy as well as the administrative means this policy makes use of. This breakdown is merely a guide since a number of schemes have characteristics of both types.