Immigrant Workers in France

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For many years after World War II, France and other countries in northern Europe did not have enough workers to do all the jobs that needed to be done. The French government encouraged immigrants from countries where there was not enough work to come to work in France. Now almost 1 worker in 10 in France comes from outside the country. Most come from southern Europe and North Africa. Portuguese, Algerian, Spanish and Moroccan workers are all part of the French work force.

Many of the jobs these workers do are poorly paid jobs that the French do not want to do themselves. Cleaning, construction and repetitive work in small factories are often done by foreign workers. At one time, during the housing shortage, many foreign workers did not have good housing. Now, however, most live in better housing. Much of this housing was paid for by the government.

Recently, France's unemployment rate has begun to rise. Some French people are unhappy about the immigrants. They think that immigrants are taking jobs from French people. There have been battles and bad feelings between French people and immigrants, especially those from North Africa.