March 25, 2023

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Unemployment fell sharply again at the end of 2022

Posted Jan 25, 2023, 11:59 AMUpdated on Jan 25, 2023 at 1:58 p.m.

Growth slows down severely, but unemployment continues to decline, to the chagrin of economists who lose their Latin. The number of unemployed jobseekers registered with Pôle emploi, classified in category A, fell by 3.6% in the fourth quarter in France excluding Mayotte, to concern just under 3.05 million people on average, according to figures published by the operator and the Ministry of Labor on Wednesday.

We have to go back to the end of 2011 to find such a low water level. This represents 114,000 fewer people compared to the previous quarter. Or even 312,100 less over one year (-9.3%) for the workforce in this category, the most scrutinized, the under 25s having benefited a little more than the over 50s.

At the same time, the number of registrants who worked less than 78 hours each month (category B) continued to increase sharply (+39,200, +5.0%), as did that of category C, those who declared more than 78 hours (+34,400 or +2.3%). It should be noted that Pôle emploi modified the procedure for updating registrants in stages last year. From January to November, this had the effect, according to the operator, of “better declaration of hours of reduced activity” in particular, and therefore of a switch from category A to categories B or C (-105,000 for the first, +90,000 for two seconds and +15,000 list outputs).

The labor market resists

In total over the months of October to December, Pôle emploi recorded 5.4 million people in these three categories, i.e. 41,000 less (-0.8% over the quarter, -5.1% over one year ). Another encouraging signal, the number of people registered for more than a year – 2.43 million – fell by 13.4%, still in France excluding Mayotte. At 45.2%, their share in the total continues to decline.

These developments confirm the very good performance of hiring last year as shown by recent Urssaf statistics, with in particular more than 5 million permanent contracts signed. Even if the explanations are lacking to understand the reasons for such resilience, it is clear that the French economy continues to grow rich in employment. Until when ?

A zoom shot in the figures of Pôle emploi and the Ministry of Labor suggests that the slowdown is underway. Thus, exits from the lists for declared resumption of employment have been falling for several quarters and are below their average levels of 2019, before the Covid. In category B, it is the small contracts that have the wind in their sails. However, in category C, contracts of 151 hours or more continue to progress…

In its latest economic report, INSEE is counting on a landing in recruitment with an anticipated increase in the number of people in employment of 50,000 “only” in the first half of 2023, against 236,000 over the same period last year. At this horizon, the unemployment rate, measured according to the meaning of the International Labor Office, the ILO, should remain around 7.3% of the active population, given the slowdown also in the latter.

In the long term, a study published a little less than a year ago by the Ministry of Labor and France Strategy anticipated 760,000 positions to be filled on average by 2030, on the basis of retirement departures and arrivals of young people. in the labor market. A regional version was published on Tuesday. It shows that the dynamism of employment will continue to benefit the coastal and southern areas but that, as a result, these same regions will suffer the most difficulties in obtaining jobs.

On the other hand, the North-East quarter of France will experience fewer recruitment tensions due to a lower number of job creations. Between the two, Ile-de-France will occupy an intermediate position. This new study also takes into account mobility between regions, but not – which constitutes its limitation – the flow of people who will leave unemployment or the effects of the pension reform desired by the government on the employment rate of seniors. .