sharp drop in the number of job seekers

After a short stagnation during the summer, the decline in the number of job seekers resumed its course at the end of 2022. More than welcome news for the government, which has achieved full employment – ​​an unemployment rate around 5% of the active population – the objective of the quinquennium. Despite an uncertain economic situation, between still high inflation and sluggish growth, the French labor market continues to resist.

According to statistics released on Wednesday, January 25, by Pôle emploi and the direction of the animation of research, studies and statistics (Dares), which depends on the Ministry of Labor, the number of job seekers without any activity ( category A) experienced a sharp decrease in the fourth quarter of 2022, by 3.6%, to 3.049 million people throughout the territory (including overseas territories, except Mayotte) against 3.164 million in the third quarter . That is just over 114,000 fewer people in the fourth quarter. Over one year, the workforce in this category, the most scrutinized, fell by 9.3%, with 312,000 fewer people. Thanks to this significant decline, the numbers in category A have never been so low since 2011. “Full employment is also a good job. We continue our mobilization »declared the Minister of Labor, Olivier Dussopt, on TwitterWednesday.

Improvement in the employment rate of seniors

It should be noted that all age groups benefit from this favorable situation, in particular those under 25 (− 9.8% over one year in mainland France), but also, and this is one of the crucial challenges of the project government pension reform, seniors. The number of category A job seekers over the age of 50 thus fell by 8.9% over one year. The improvement in the employment rate of seniors that began some twenty years ago is continuing.

The decline in the fourth quarter is however much less significant if we add job seekers in reduced activity (categories B and C). Because the number of registered in metropolitan France in category B, those who worked less than 78 hours over a month, increased by 5.2% compared to the previous quarter (+ 8.8% over one year). Just like those who have worked more than 78 hours (category C), whose number has increased by 2.3%. The DARES and Pôle emploi also specify that a modification of the updating procedure during the year had “a lasting downward impact on the number of job seekers in category A, in return (…) a lasting increase in categories B and C linked to the better declaration of hours of reduced activity”. Thus, the number of people registered with Pôle emploi and required to look for a job (categories A, B and C) throughout the territory, excluding Mayotte, amounts to 5.394 million people, down 0.8% compared to in the previous quarter, but by 5.1% over one year. The 5.4 million mark has been crossed for the first time since 2014.

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