The figures are rather encouraging: it is even the lowest level since 2008. The unemployment rate is almost stable in the first quarter of 2022 at 7.3% of the active population in France (excluding Mayotte), against 7.4% in the last quarter of 2021, according to figures published on Tuesday by INSEE.

In the first quarter, the number of unemployed as defined by the International Labor Office (ILO) reached 2.2 million people, or 18,000 less over the quarter.

The unemployment rate, which had fallen sharply in the last quarter (-0.6 points), is at its lowest level since the start of 2008.

Stability of the “halo around unemployment”

“It is 0.8 point lower than its level a year earlier, and 0.9 point below its level before the health crisis [end of 2019]”, underlines INSEE.

Over the quarter, the youth unemployment rate rebounded slightly (+0.3 points to 16.3%) after falling sharply in the previous quarter (-3.5 points).

It fell by 0.2 point for the 25-49 year olds to 6.6% and it was almost stable for the 50 year olds or over, at 5.6%.

As regards the "halo around unemployment", i.e. unemployed people who want to work but do not meet the other ILO criteria to be considered unemployed (actually looking for a job and being available to take one), it remains stable to 1.8 million people.

Very high employment rate

The long-term unemployment rate is also stable at 2.2% of the active population.

About 700,000 unemployed people say they are unemployed and have been looking for one for at least a year.

The employment rate for 15-64 year olds rose again by 0.2 points, to 68%.

It thus exceeds its highest historical level since INSEE measured it (1975).

It rose by 0.7 point for young people and reached 34.6%, its highest level since 1991. For those aged 25-49, it rose by 0.2 point to 82.5%, its highest level since the beginning 2009. Finally, that of 50-64 year olds is stable at 65.5%, its highest level ever.

Decline in underemployment

The proportion of underemployment (part-timers wishing to work more or on partial unemployment) fell by 0.3 points to 4.7%, its lowest level since 1992.

The activity rate (people in employment or unemployed) of 15-64 year olds also increased by 0.2 points to 73.4% and returned to its highest historical level in the third quarter of 2021.


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