The average ILO unemployment rate in metropolitan France and the overseas departments (excluding Mayotte) fell to 8.9 percent from 9.6 percent in the previous period. It was the lowest level since early 2009. In metropolitan France only, the unemployment rate decreased by 0.7 percentage points from the preceding quarter to 8.6 percent, as the number of unemployed fell by 205,000 to 2.5 million. The unemployment declined across all age groups, particularly among youths and persons aged 25 to 49. Among unemployed, 1.1 million were seeking a job for at least one year. The long-term unemployment rate went down to 3.6 percent from 4.2 percent in Q3.
In the fourth quarter, the employment rate of the population aged 15-64 years increased by 0.6 percentage points from the previous period to 65.7 percent, the highest level since early 1980s. It increased across all age groups, particularly among youths and persons aged 50 to 64. Over a year, the employment rate increased by 1.0 percentage points.
About 5.6 percent of the employed persons were underemployed, meaning that they had a part-time job but wished to work more. The ratio decreased by 0.5 percentage points compared to Q3, and by 0.6 percentage points year on year.
The activity rate of people aged 15-64 edged up to 72.0 oercent (from 71.9 percent in the September quarter). Over a year, it increased by 0.3 percentage points. Among inactive people, 1.5 million persons wished to work without being considered as unemployed according to the ILO definition: they made up the halo of unemployment. Their number increased by 77,000 compared to Q3 and nearly steady over a year.