On the boundaries between employment, unemployment and inactivity

Hélène Thélot, département Emploi et revenus d’activité, Insee

In 2007, 2.9m people in mainland France and Corsica did not have a job but said they wanted to work. Of these, according the ILO definition, 2.1m are unemployed and almost 800,000 are inactive. The majority of the inactive people who want to work are not able to do so in the short term, particularly because of family or personal reasons. However, 290,000 inactive people are available but do not actively seek work, according to the ILO definition. Finally, 5.5% of people with a job are underemployed, i.e. (in most cases) they have a part-time job, would like to work more and are ready to do so. In this category of more than 1.4m people, 560,000 would also like to change jobs or have an additional job. Moreover, 1.6m people have a job and would like to change it, although they are not underemployed. The reasons given range from the wish to progress to a more interesting or better paid job, to the fear of losing one’s job.

Insee Première
No 1207
Paru le : 27/08/2008