The unemployment rate fell sharply this last quarter, affecting "only" 8.1% of the working population. The Republic in March is now launching a new challenge, "7% unemployment in 2022", as confirmed by the Minister of Labor Thursday evening at the microphone of Europe 1. But is it possible?

La République en Marche is pleased, the unemployment rate among working people has dropped significantly with a rate of 8.1%. It even fell below the 8% mark in metropolitan areas.

"the ambition to reach 7% unemployment in 2022 is frankly achievable"

Muriel Pénicaud, Minister of Labor, and Sacha Houlié, LREM MP, both confirmed it on Europe 1: the government's gaze is now focused on 2022 with an objective: "7% unemployment". A goal "frankly achievable" for the Minister. But is the government right to display such confidence?

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If we look at the trend, the answer seems to be yes. The unemployment rate has been falling for 5 years, about half a point each year. So effectively, on this momentum, the 7% target could be reached by the end of the five-year period.

"There is no employment policy today"

But at the microphone of Europe 1, Eric Heyer, economist at OFCE, already sees a downside, that of growth. It is slowing down, in particular because job creation is not enough: 260,000 new jobs in 2019, but they will be half as many in 2020, according to the economist. And for good reason, in France today, "there is no employment policy that supports job creation". According to Eric Heyer, the unemployment rate should waver slightly below 8%, but no less.

"The youth unemployment rate is more than twice the overall unemployment rate"

Beyond transitional measures, such as enrolling the unemployed in training programs, the government must tackle the situation of young people. This is what defends the economist Christian de Boissieu, who points out that even when they are freshly graduated, young people still find it difficult today to cross the course of employment. Most of the time, internships accumulate a few months before signing a first contract. One of the reasons why, according to this economics professor at the Sorbonne, "the unemployment rate of young people is more than twice higher than the overall unemployment rate".

Territorial disparities

"We see a dynamic everywhere on the territory with 24 departments already under 7%", rejoiced the Minister of Labor. But in reality, the territorial disparities are still very present. For example, in Mayenne, the unemployment rate is 5.5%, compared to 14% in the Pyrenees Orientales. This upward slope of which the minister speaks exists, especially in services, but there is still work to be done.