Jobless drop was SFR glitch

Phone company forget to send SMS reminder, leading to France's sharpest unemployment drop in a decade

1 October 2013

A RECORD fall in unemployment during August has been attributed to a telephone company forgetting to remind people to update their situation.

Figures from the Pôle Emploi job centre shows 50,000 fewer people out of work in August compared to the previous month. Such a drop would have been the sharpest since 2000 and the first positive news for unemployment since 2011.

Story: Jobless drop likely a fluke

The unexpected drop was linked to an anomalously high number of people failing to sign on at the beginning of the month.

The Pôle Emploi has subsequently announced that reminder voice and SMS messages were not sent out by SFR. SFR denies any technical problems.

Business figures

Over 62,000 business filed for bankruptcy or special measures so far this year according to latest figures.

The business were scattered across different sectors, hotel and restaurants industry (16.4%), business services (11.5%), car sales (10.2%), personal services (7.4%) and retail stores (8%).

Photo: Gilles Leimdorfer

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