A video of French President Emmanuel Macron telling a young unemployed man to simply "cross the road" to find a job went viral earlier this month. The man, Jonathan Jahan, has now landed a position as a coach driver.
An unemployed Frenchman told by French President Emmanuel Macron that he needed to merely "cross the road" to find a job has landed a position after a video of their outspoken exchange made the rounds online earlier this month.
Ultimately, 25-year-old Jonathan Jahan didn't need to look in Paris' Montparnasse district to find work. A temporary employment agency contacted him with an offer to work as a coach driver. Jahan, who studied horticulture but was unable to find work for months, accepted the offer.
"I'm happy because I'm going to work in something I love," he told French broadcaster BFM TV, adding that he had turned down 20 other job and interview offers.
While footage of the exchange appeared to have worked out well for Jahan, the same cannot be said for Macron. The president was chided for showing a callous attitude towards the young jobseeker. Several media outlets also questioned whether Macron was right to underline the mismatch between France's 9 percent unemployment rate and the thousands of unfilled job vacancies, particularly in the hospitality sector.
In the weeks since, the 40-year-old has seen approval ratings plummet to just 30 percent — the lowest since his election to the French presidency last May.
"If you're keen and motivated, in the hotel trade, cafes, restaurants, construction even — there's nowhere I go that people don't tell me they're looking to hire," Macron was filmed bluntly telling Jahan during an open day at the Elysee Palace. "Honestly. Hotels, cafes, restaurants. If I cross the road I can find you something, they simply want people who are ready to work."