French Jobless Rate Falls To 5-Year Low In Q1


The unemployment rate in France dropped to 9.6 percent in the first quarter of 2017 from 10.0 percent in the previous period. It was the lowest jobless rate since the first quarter of 2012. Meanwhile, the employment rate was stable at 64.7 percent and the activity rate of people aged 15-64 decreased by 0.3 percentage points to 71.4 percent.

The average ILO unemployment rate in metropolitan France and the overseas departments (excluding Mayotte) fell to 9.6 percent from 10.0 percent in the previous period. In metropolitan France only, the unemployment rate fell to 9.3 percent in the first three months of the year from 9.7 percent in the previous period, as the number of unemployed decreased by 115,000 to 2.7 million. The unemployment decreased among youths and persons aged 25 to 49 while it was stable for those aged 50 and over. Among unemployed, 1.2 million were seeking a job for at least one year. The long-term unemployment rate stood at 4.1 percent compared to 4.2 percent in Q4 2016. 

In the first quarter, the employment rate of the population aged 15-64 years stood at 64.7 percent, the same as in the prior quarter. It rose slightly among youths and for persons aged 25 to 49, and it was stable for those aged 50 to 64. Permanent employment rate came edged down 0.1 percentage points to 48.5 percent, while fixed term and temporary contracts employment rose 0.3 percentage points to 7.8 percent.

About 6.2 percent of the employed persons were underemployed, meaning that they had a part-time job but wished to work more.

The activity rate of people aged at 15-64 fell 0.3 percentage points to 71.4 percent in the first quarter. Among inactive people, 1.5 million wish to work but they are not considered as unemployed (unemployment halo). The number of people in the unemployment halo rose 20,000 quarter-on-quarter in the first quarter 2017 and up by 58,000 over a year.

Insee l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com
5/18/2017 11:24:31 AM