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France: unemployment fell slightly in 2017, but less than in 2016

Ⓒ AFP/Archives – LOIC VENANCE – | An agency of Pole Employment, January 15, 2018 in Nantes

After a sharp decline in 2016, the number of unemployed fell by 15,700 people (-0.5%) in 2017, to settle at 3.45 million at the end of the year in metropolis, announced Wednesday the Ministry of Labor .

The decline was even lower (-13,000, -0.3%) including the overseas, for a total of 3.71 million unemployed registered in category A (no activity) in France.

In 2016, the indicator had dropped by more than 100,000 people (-3.0%). This was the first annual drop recorded by Pôle emploi since 2007, before the financial crisis.

The year 2017 ended in December, with a very slight decrease in unemployment (-0.1%) in metropolitan France as in France.

At the same time, however, the number of jobseekers who worked during the month (categories B and C) increased by 0.2%. As a result, with or without activity, the number of Pôle emploi registrants required to look for a job is stable, at 5.61 million in mainland France and 5.92 million in France as a whole.

Over 12 months, the total number of jobseekers, including small business, is on the rise (+ 2.7%).

Ⓒ AFP – Vincent LEFAI – | Change of pace at Pôle emploi

In category A, the slight decline in December did not benefit young people (+ 1.3%). Their situation has nonetheless improved significantly (-3.5%) over the whole of 2017. Seniors, for their part, had a bad 2017 (+ 1.6%), despite a respite in December (-0.1%).

Long-term unemployment rose by 0.4% in December and 5.1% over the year. At the end of 2017, 2.53 million jobseekers, including a small activity, had been registered at Pôle emploi for more than a year in mainland France.

Last year, the Pôle emploi indicator alternated six months of decline and six months of increases, reflecting the high volatility of this statistic. For this reason, the Ministry of Labor has decided to change the periodicity of its publication, which will move from a monthly to a quarterly, based on the figures of the first quarter of 2018. These will be published on April 25.

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