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French unemployment in sharp decline in first quarter of 2022

The number of jobseekers fell by 5% compared to the end of 2021, with the biggest movement into work seen among the under-25s

An image of a Pole emploi sign

The number of people looking for work in France has fallen by 5% in the first trimester Pic: ricochet64 / Shutterstock

The number of unemployed people searching for a job fell by 5% in France in the first quarter of 2022, compared to the three months before, bringing the total to a 10-year low. 

It means there are currently 3.193million people listed within Catégorie A of the Pôle emploi employment service, according to the government labour statistics agency la Direction de l'Animation de la recherche, des Études et des Statistiques (Dares).

These are people who are out of work and actively seeking a job. 

The total number of Catégorie A unemployed people has fallen by 600,000 over the last year, to its lowest level since the second trimester of 2012. This equates to a 15.7% reduction, or 16.5% for metropolitan France alone.

Young people below the age of 25 are the group which have benefited most from this decline. The number of people of this age finding themselves in Catégorie A has come down by 10.8% in metropolitan France, while for 25 to 49-year-olds it has fallen by 4.9% and for the over-50s it has fallen by 3.4%.

Unemployment among the under-25s has declined by 25% over the last year with at least 125,000 entering work.

“The number of jobseekers with no employment continued to fall sharply over the first trimester,” Labour Minister Élisabeth Borne tweeted. 

“Our objective over the next five years is clear: focus on full employment!” 

If we also count the people in Pôle emploi’s Catégories B and C – who have worked a certain number of hours in the last month – there are 5.533 million job seekers in France, according to Dares. 

This figure has also fallen by 8.2% over the last year.

A decline has also been observed in the number of long-term unemployed people – who have been looking for work for more than a year – which has fallen by 12.3% in the last year to 2.676 million across Catégories A, B and C.

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