Jobless figure in France lowest in decade

President Macron has pledged to cut unemployment to 7% by the end of his five-year mandate in 2022

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Unemployment in France has fallen to its lowest level in a decade, with 2.4million people out of work.

Figures published by the national statistics agency Insee on Wednesday, showed the second-quarter unemployment rate including overseas territories is 8.5% - its lowest level since 2009.

In metropolitan France, the rate fell 0.2% to 8.2% in the second quarter, continuing a downward trend since a peak in 2015. So far in 2019, unemployment has fallen 0.6%.

The long-term unemployed are still having difficulty finding work, however. Some 900,000 people - or 3.2% of the work-age population - have been unemployed for more than a year, a fall of 0.1%. Among 15-24 year olds, the unemployment rate fell 0.6% to 18.6%.

Across eurozone countries, unemployment fell to an 11-year low of 7.5% in May.

French President Emmanuel Macron has reformed labour laws and reduced corporate taxes in a bid to cut unemployment and make the country more attractive to employers and investors.

The Employment Ministry said the jobless figure is 300,000 lower than it was when Mr Macron was elected in May 2017. It remains, however, well above the President's target of 7% by the end of his five-year mandate.

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