Unemployment rate jumps to 9% in third quarter

This increase is mechanical according to INSEE, but it still reflects a deterioration in the labor market compared to the end of 2019.

The unemployment rate soared to 9% of the labor force in the third quarter. According to INSEE, the number of unemployed within the meaning of the ILO reached 2.7 million people in France (excluding Mayotte) over this period, an increase of 628,000 people.

The unemployment rate is up nearly two points from this. The period from April to June was marked by a drop in the unemployment rate to 7.1%. But this decline was a sham, according to INSEE. Indeed, during confinement, unemployed people had not been able to carry out active job search procedures and were therefore not counted as unemployed within the meaning of the ILO. “The third quarter marks a return to normal in research behavior and therefore records a sharp increase in unemployment.», Explains INSEE.

The same mechanical effect is observed on the unemployment halo, which registers inactive people within the meaning of the ILO and who want a job without being considered unemployed. This halo, which for economists is a telling indicator of the state of the labor market, fell to 1.7 million people after a peak deemed “exceptionalIn the second quarter to 2.5 million. “The peak of the halo in the second trimester is mainly made up of people wishing to work and available to do so, but who have not taken active steps to find a job. With the end of the first confinement, unemployed people have again resumed their active job searches, mechanically reducing the halo around unemployment.», Summarizes INSEE.

SEE ALSO – Emmanuel Macron predicts “a massive increase in unemployment”

One “rough blow»

Although mechanical, this rebound in unemployment over the quarter, “on an unprecedented scale since INSEE measured it (1975)», Testifies to a clear deterioration of the labor market. The unemployment rate is indeed 0.9 point above its pre-health crisis level in the fourth quarter of 2019 and is up 0.6 point over one year.

These numbers are “a rough blow» car «men and women have lost their jobs and are at risk of precariousness. But this is not surprising news as it testifies to the decline in activity», Commented this morning Olivier Dussopt, Minister in charge of Public Accounts, on Europe 1.

Young people heavily penalized

In detail, the rise in unemployment has hit 25-49 year olds (+2.1 points) and those 50 and over (+1.7 point) harder than young people aged 15 to 24 (+0.9 point). “But the youth unemployment rate had already increased in the previous quarter, unlike that of their elders. In total, over one year, the unemployment rate increased more for young people (+2.8 points) than for other age groups“, Nuance INSEE. It now stands at 21.8%.

Another notable fact: the unemployment rate for women, which fell more sharply in the first half of the year (-1.2 points) than that of men (-0.8 points), rebounded more strongly in the third quarter. “So in total, the unemployment rates for men and women are again almost equal in the third quarter, as was the case before the crisis», Concludes the institute.

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