According to the report from INSEE, in the 1st quarter of 2023, the unemployment rate in France was 7.1%, while the reading for the 4th quarter of 2022 was revised downward - to 7.1% from 7.2%. Economists also expected unemployment to remain at 7.1%. INSEE said the unemployment rate was at its lowest level since Q2 2020, but excluding the pandemic period, it was the lowest level since 1982. The data will be a positive signal for the government as it battles high inflation and strives to turn the page on pension reforms that have unleashed months of strikes.
The data also showed that the number of unemployed decreased by 7 thousand compared to the 4th quarter, to 2.2 million. The unemployment rate among people aged 15-24 decreased by 0.2% to 16.6%, which is more than 5% lower than before COVID, while the unemployment rate among people aged 25-49 remained at 6.4%. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate among people aged 50 and older rose to 5.2%. Long-term unemployment was 1.8% of the active workforce, which is the lowest level since the beginning of 2009 (excluding the 2nd quarter of 2020).