The unemployment rate remained stable in the first quarter, with 7.1% of the active population in France, according to figures published Wednesday May 17, 2023 by INSEE. The number of unemployed, according to the International Labor Office (ILO), reached 2.2 million people, ie 7,000 less compared to the previous quarter.
The unemployment rate in the first quarter is 0.3 points below its level a year before in the first quarter of 2022, and 3.4 points below its peak in mid-2015. except for the decline during the health crisis, we have to go back to the first quarter of 2008 (7.2%) and the second quarter of 1982 (7.1%) to find equivalent levels. These figures revive the prospect of full employment desired by Emmanuel Macron.
What does this term mean from the mouth of the executive? Full employment is the level of employment at which demands are considered to be covered by offers, and vice versa. This concept also includes what is called frictional unemployment, i.e. the time it takes a job seeker to find a job between two contracts. In short, it is the incompressible level of unemployment in a country.
To achieve full employment, “the French economy must be able to create around 800,000 jobs by the end of the five-year term if we want to reach 5% unemployment”, detailed the Minister of Labor, Olivier Dussopt for BFM TV. This figure is increased to “1.3 million if we wish that reaching 5% unemployment be accompanied by a reduction in what is sometimes called the unemployment halo and thus go even further in terms of reality full employment,” he continued. The “halo” refers to people wishing to return to the labor market, but who are not considered unemployed by the International Labor Office.
Finally, this objective is certainly achievable but a turnaround in the economic situation can have an opposite effect and, therefore, thwart the forecasts. In addition, by 2027, more than 800,000 jobs would have to be created for the unemployment rate to be 5%.
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