Unemployment rate in France lowest in 10 years

The unemployment rate decreased by 3.3% in 2019, making it the lowest in 10 years, new figures show.

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France now records 3.6 million jobseekers and the latest rate of unemployment was 8.6 % in the third quarter of last year and is hoped to drop further to around 8.2% by the spring.

Even if the falling of unemployment is encouraging, France remains one of the OECD economically-developed countries with the highest rate of people without work.

“There is still plenty of progress that can be made. If we look at the European Union as a whole, the unemployment rate is 6.3%, and it is even 3% in Germany,” said Jean-Eudes du Mesnil, secretary-general of the employers’ union the CPME, told France Info.

Of the 3.3% decrease, 2.2% are young jobseekers. Work Minister Muriel Penicaud said: “The efforts we are making on apprenticeship and education and other areas are getting results; we must continue.”

A third of students will get a job before even graduating according to a study by recruitment consultancy Walters People. Today young people appear to be finding a job more quickly. Nevertheless 85% of the under-25 do not stay longer than three years in their first job.

“This fall is first of all due to company leaders,” said Mr du Mesnil. “They are employing because their order books are full and also because they are confidant.”

Reforms such as a reduction in labour costs and social charges brought in by this government to improve the employment capacity of companies is given as a reason for the change.

President Emmanuel Macron said in his election campaign that he aims to lower the unemployment rate to 7% by spring 2022.

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