The number of unemployed stood at 3,676 million people in the whole of France in the fourth half of 2018, its lowest level since mid-2014.
The number of unemployed decreased significantly in the fourth quarter of 2018 with 42,000 fewer people (-1.1%) enrolled in Pôle emploi, to reach 3,676 million people in France, its lowest level since the mid-1980s. 2014, according to figures published on Friday, January 25, 2019 by Pôle emploi .
The number of registered persons, with or without activity, decreased from 0.8% (- 47,000) to 5,916 million. Since the outbreak of the 2008-2009 crisis, it is only the second time that this figure (ABC categories) has decreased.
If we take into account only jobseekers in reduced activity (categories B and C), it is even the first decline in ten years (-0.3%).
This fall in the number of unemployed comes after two quarters of small increase (+ 0.4% in the 3rd, + 0.2% in the 2nd).
Over one year, the number of unemployed people enrolled at Pôle emploi in category A (no activity) is down by 1.4% and the number of applicants with or without activity by 0.2%.
Fewer unemployed men
In mainland France, the drop concerns more men than women (-1.4% against -0.8%) and benefits above all to those under 25 (-2.9% in the quarter). It is 1.1% for those aged 25 to 49, and only 0.2% for those aged 50 and over.
Long-term unemployment is still on the rise : including job-seekers who have been active, 2,648 million were registered for more than one year. A figure up 0.4% in the quarter and 5% in one year. On the other hand, those enrolled for less than one year fell 1.8% (4.6% year-on-year).
In mainland France, the number of unemployed decreased in all regions except Corsica. The biggest decline is 1.9% in Brittany . Overseas, the figures vary between -0.9% in Reunion and -3.3% in French Guiana.
The average number of entrants to Pôle emploi decreased in categories A, B, C by 2.7% while the number of releases from the same lists of the public operator increased by 1.4%.
The number of people enrolled in category D, which includes those in training, increases by 14,700.
In a context of uncertainty with the crisis of yellow vests
At this stage, these statistics do not yet reflect the impact of the yellow vests crisis, which began in mid-November, while INSEE halved its growth forecast (0.2 instead of 0.4%). for this last quarter.
Labor Minister Muriel Pénicaud said in early January that 58,000 people had been placed in partial activity, worrying about the “weakening of employment” in small businesses and SMEs.
Despite these uncertainties about the activity, French as global (Brexit, commercial tensions, etc.), his counterpart of the Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire maintained Thursday a forecast of growth to 1.7% for 2019.
To achieve its distant goal of an unemployment rate of 7% at the end of the five-year period (compared to 9.1% in the third quarter of 2018), the government is counting on the massive effort made on apprenticeship and vocational training, with the investment plan for skills (CIP, € 15 billion by 2022).
Difficult reform of unemployment insurance
Companies regularly complain of having more and more difficulty recruiting, either in sectors that attract little because of difficult working conditions (building, hotel-catering …), or in sectors where the problem is more related to a lack of qualification (computer scientists …).
Accompanying the jobseeker and speeding up his entry into training are among the priorities of the ongoing negotiations between the State, the social partners and Pôle emploi on the missions of the public operator for the three coming years. Starting from the observation that the sooner a person is taken care of at Pôle emploi, the less time she will stay there.
“We must make a lot of progress on the diagnosis at the entrance,” said Wednesday the director of employment pole Jean Bassères. At the first interview of an applicant with his counselor, three weeks after his registration, “we would like the diagnosis to be more important,” he said, recommending that “two half-days” instead of 45 minutes.
But for the unions, this also raises the question of the size of the operator, who will lose 800 positions this year.
These negotiations, which must be completed in early February, are being conducted in parallel with those on the reform of unemployment insurance, which are more difficult and recently extended until 20 February.
The government is demanding from the social partners both significant savings (between 3 and 3.9 billion euros in three years), challenged by the unions, and a revision of the rules, accused of favoring the use of short-term fixed-term contracts ( less than one month) at the expense of sustainable employment.
But employers categorically reject any project bonus-malus on short contracts Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed Thursday night wish he “go to the end.”