Unemployment Rate at 8.1% is at its Lowest Level Since Late 2008

The unemployment rate fell sharply, by 0.4 points, in the fourth quarter of 2019 to 8.1% of the labor force

The unemployment rate fell by 0.4 points in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to figures published by INSEE on Thursday 13th February 2020.

The unemployment rate fell sharply by 0.4 points in the fourth quarter of 2019 to settle at 8.1% of the working population and reach its lowest level since the end of 2008, according to figures published by INSEE on Thursday. February 13, 2020.

2.4 million unemployed

France (excluding Mayotte) has 2,424 million unemployed people, or 85,000 less in the quarter. Over one year, the unemployment rate, measured according to the standards of the International Labour Office (ILO), is down 0.7 points. INSEE also revised its figure of 3 th quarter of 8.6 to 8.5%.

In mainland France alone, the rate is 7.9%.

“This is proof that the ambition of a rate of 7% (at the end of the five-year term) is frankly attainable,” reacted Muriel Pénicaud on RTL“It’s very encouraging, it’s off to a good start,” said the Minister of Labor, saying that “24 departments were already below 7%”.

The rising employment rate

As a consequence of strong job creation (“210,000 in the private sector in 2019), the employment rate , i.e. the proportion of 15-64 year-olds who work, increases by 0.7 point on the quarter and 0.4 point year on year at 65.9%.

The participation rate, ie the share of 15-64-year-olds who work or are unemployed, increases by 0.4 point to 71.8% and is almost stable over one year.

For long-term unemployment (for at least a year), the rate drops by 0.2 points over the quarter and by 0.4 points over a year. This still represents 965,000 unemployed.

Disparities by age

By age group, the unemployment rate fell this quarter for 25-49-year-olds (-0.5 point) and those over 50 (-0.5 point) but increased for 15-24-year-olds (” 0.7 points) where it still reaches 20%.

The share of underemployment, that is to say, people who want to work more, such as part-time employees, is 5.3%, down 0.5 points year-on-year.

The “ halo around unemployment ” is on the rise. These people who wish to work but who are not counted because they are not actively seeking or are not immediately available have seen their numbers increase from 59,000 to 1.7 million.

How is the unemployment rate calculated?
INSEE surveys 110,000 people over the age of 15 every quarter. Are considered as unemployed those who meet three criteria: not having had any paid activity during a reference week, is available to hold a job within 15 days and have actively looked for a job in the previous month (or in having found a beginner in less than three months).

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