France’s unemployment rate at its lowest level since 2008

On the employment front, 2023 begins the same way 2022 ended. In the first quarter, the number of unemployed, as defined by the International Labor Office (ILO) – a stricter definition than that of job seekers registered with Pôle Emploi – fell very slightly by 7,000 people compared to the last three months of 2022, still standing at 2.2 million people, according to a note released on Wednesday May 17 by INSEE. The unemployment rate is therefore stable, at 7.1% in France (excluding Mayotte). This is the lowest rate since 2008 (7.2%) and such a level had not been reached since the second quarter of 1982 – excluding the drop linked to the crisis due to Covid-19.

The youth unemployment rate fell very slightly, by 0.2 points, to 16.6%, a stable rate compared to the first quarter of 2022 (16.7%). On the other hand, while the debate on pension reform is still lively, that of those aged 50 or over increased over the first three months of the year (+ 0.2%) to 5.2%. A level which remains however lower than its level of a year ago (-0.3 point).

Given the current economic situation, with inflation still high and growth sluggish, this stagnation is not bad news for the government in its quest, by 2027, for full employment – ​​an unemployment rate around 5% of the active population – objective set by Emmanuel Macron. Contrary to what we might have feared, the labor market continues to resist and no reversal has taken place.

“We will continue to fight for full employment through training, apprenticeship, support for the economy and enhanced support for the most vulnerable within the framework of the France Travail project. All mobilized for full and good employment! »welcomed, on Twitter, the Minister of Labor, OIivier Dussopt, Wednesday morning.

🚀 We will continue to fight for full employment through training, learning, support for the economy…

— olivierdussopt (@Olivier Dussopt)

Employment rate on the rise

However, the indicators published by INSEE are not all entirely on the right track. In the list of good news, the employment rate of people aged 15 to 64 increased by 0.3 points and reached 68.6% over the quarter, its highest level since INSEE measured it in 1975. A positive development that can be observed in detail for all age groups: the employment rate for 15-24 year olds increased by 0.2 points over the first three months, to reach 35.3%, its highest level since 1990. The employment rate of seniors, people aged 50 to 64, increased by 0.3 points – and 1 point over one year – to 66.5%, which again constitutes , a new high since 1975.

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