At 8.6% compared with 8.5% in the previous quarter, the increase in the unemployment rate would be "rounded" according to INSEE and would contradict other rather positive employment indicators. It is still a bad signal for the government.
The unemployment rate edged up in the third quarter of 2019 (+0.1 points), after a drop of 0.2 points in the previous quarter. It now reaches 8.6% of the active population in France (excluding Mayotte), according to the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE).
The number of unemployed increased by 10,000 during the quarter and now stands at 2.5 million. The unemployment rate, however, fell for young people (-0.2 points), especially young men (-0.4 points). It is stable for people aged 25 to 49 and almost stable for people aged 50 or over (+0.1 point) Over a year, the drop in the unemployment rate is pronounced for young people (-2.3 points), especially young men (-2.9 points).
With one million people looking for work for at least a year, the long-term unemployment rate remains unchanged at 3.4% of the labor force compared with the previous quarter. However, it is slightly down on the previous year.
"The unemployment rate is on a plateau this quarter," admitted November 14 the Minister of Labor, Muriel Penicaud Micro Europe 1 radio she was invited. "But we must keep the long-term vision," she said, referring to a "dynamic" job creation "very strong, with more than 260,000 jobs created over the last year."
Statisticians are surprised
This rise in unemployment between July and September is surprising to the extent that the other indicators of the quarter remained green: 54,300 new jobs, increase of 2.3% hiring statements up (+ 2.3%) and decline 0.4% of the number of jobseekers in category A (not having worked at all) at Pôle emploi. But for the calculation of the unemployment rate, INSEE uses the criteria of the International Labor Office (ILO).
"We were expecting a slight decrease of 0.1 point," acknowledges Sylvain Larrieu, head of the synthesis and market conditions at INSE quoted by AFP. He mentions "a very limited increase (because) 10 000 unemployed represent only 0.03 point of the active population" and explains that "it is the rounding which makes one go from 8.5 to 8.6% ". But according to the chief statistician in charge of employment at INSEE, this increase "does not seem to call into question the general trend of a drop of 0.5 points per year since mid-2015". At the time, it had reached a peak of 10.5%.
Employers must also open their chakras, hire seniors, people with disabilities, neighborhood youth
However, this very slight increase in unemployment in the fall of 2019, after 16 consecutive quarters of decline, may be worrying the government, which has reduced the unemployment rate to 7% in 2022, one of the main objectives of the five-year period. Indeed, the average reduction observed since mid-2015 makes this objective theoretically accessible.
"We still have it underfoot"
But it includes the exceptional year of growth in 2017 (+ 2.6%) where unemployment fell by one point. And even in 2018, when it had fallen sharply with immediate effects on the pace of the reduction in the unemployment rate, it was still 1.5%, while the French economy will grow only 1.3 % in 2019.
The Minister of Labor, however, said she was convinced that "we are still in the foothold", placing hope in training and recruiting before adding: "It is also necessary for employers to open their doors. chakras, they hire seniors, people with disabilities, young neighborhoods. There is a lot of conformism in the way of recruiting. "
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