We are building a citizen-led digital public service to address unemployment in France. Through a historic partnership with the French government, we are building a free, open-source software platform to empower millions of individuals to find a way out of unemployment using big data.
Unemployment is the most significant social issue in France. Over 10% of the adult population is unemployed. The inefficiency and lack of user friendliness of unemployment services, as well as the lack of information available on the labor market to jobseekers, sets back 5.5 millions of unemployed individuals and prevents them from devising the right personal strategies. The National Unemployment Agency (Pole emploi) focuses on traditional in-person counseling services. Unfortunately, in-person services are difficult to scale; this is where digital tools and algorithms can bring significant improvements, by empowering all players to make better individual decisions. Despite a high unemployment rate, there are between 300,000 and 600,000 unfilled vacancies, which could be improved by making the system more efficient.
The power of big data can be leveraged to improve the efficiency of the labor market and reduce the country’s unemployment rate in a significant way. To build an efficient job recovery strategy, a job seeker would need to analyze real-time information on the labor market, training programs, available social programs, and millions of past examples of unemployment trajectories. Algorithms can take into account massive amount of information and give jobseekers a personalized assessment of their unemployment situation and automatically recommend them viable strategies they can explore to improve it. That’s why we believe in harnessing big data to provide a self-service technology platform to the millions of unemployed in a scalable way.
Today, Bayes Impact is launching an ambitious project: a free, open-source intelligent application that empowers jobseekers by helping them find their optimal strategies and help them navigate the job search maze. We have secured a one-of-a-kind partnership with the French government (Department of Labor and the Secretariat-General for Government Modernisation), giving us access to the huge amount of data collected through diverse national administrations that are currently under-exploited and have rarely been linked together. Our solution consists of gathering all the data and services related to job search in one place and make it available in an intelligent and intuitive way. It is a smart layer on top of the main job services, augmented with algorithms to empower jobseekers by giving them a personalized assessment of their unemployment situation (what the main causes are, how difficult their search is likely to be and why), and automatically recommend them viable strategies they can explore to improve it.
The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) will help us measure the effect of our solution on the labor market through randomized studies.