Unemployment Rate Continues its Slow Decline

The unemployment rate fell by 0.2 point in the second quarter to 8.5% of the labor force in France (excluding Mayotte), continuing its downward trend.

At 8.5% in the second quarter, the unemployment rate returned to a level in early 2009. It is down 0.6 points in one year.

The unemployment rate continued its slow decline in the second quarter to 8.5 %, according to INSEE figures released Wednesday 14th August 2019, despite a modest growth.

Since mid-2015, the unemployment rate has continued to decline slowly. At 8.5%, measured according to the standards of the International Labor Office (ILO), the indicator returned to a level at the beginning of 2009. It fell by 0.6 points over one year

The government has set itself the target of a rate of 7% by the end of the five-year period, which is getting closer to very small steps.

“The reforms of the government bring their first fruits for our fellow citizens,” welcomed the Minister of Labor, Muriel Pénicaud, in a statement posted on Twitter, citing “the transformations of the Labor Code, apprenticeship and training professional “.

According to her, “small businesses are no longer afraid to hire”. At the beginning of the summer, she described the job market as “very dynamic”.

Indeed, employment statistics have been sending positive signals for the past several months, as private-sector job creations have slowed but increased in Q2 (+0.3 points). And this despite a growth that has marked the pace (+ 0.2%) with unexpected braking of household consumption.

Another unemployment thermometer, which is not always in tune with INSEE statistics, the number of unemployed in France counted by employment center continued to decline between April and June (-0.5%).

Note that France is part of the European dynamic: in the euro area, unemployment was the lowest in 11 years to 7.5% in June and has continued to decline since September 2016.

“300,000 unemployed less”

In metropolitan France alone, the unemployment rate fell by 0.2 percentage points to 8.2%, which represents 2.4 million unemployed, ie 66,000 fewer unemployed in the quarter.

The whole of France excluding Mayotte, has 2.525 million unemployed. What makes the Minister of Labor say that there are “300,000 unemployed less” since the beginning of the five-year period. At the arrival of Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee, France had 2,817 million unemployed.

“Do you want to work? There are offers! “, Launched in June the President of the Republic to the unemployed on the occasion of a surprise visit in an agency employment centre of the northern districts of Marseille

Between April and June, all age groups benefit from the drop: -0.6 pt for 15-24 year-olds, -0.2 pt for over-50s and 25-49 year-olds.

On the other hand, after falling sharply in the first quarter, the “halo around unemployment” rose sharply in the second quarter (+63,000). These are people who want to work but who are not counted because they do not actively seek or are not available immediately, that is about 1.5 million people.

If the executive puts forward the reforms already undertaken, it also focuses on the reform of unemployment insurance, whose decrees were issued in July, to reduce the number of job seekers.

The first measures will come into effect in November, including those that extend the duration of work to access compensation. From November 1st, it will be necessary to have worked “130 days or 910 hours”, ie six months, on the last 24 months instead of four months on the last 28. The threshold for reloading will also be six months to one month today.

This reform could have more impact on the number of Pôle emploi enrollments but less on the ILO unemployment rate, which is based on a household survey to find out if their members are looking for a job.

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