Annual census surveys 2004 - 2006 - Employment rates range from 56.9% in the Languedoc-Roussillon region to 66.8% in the Pays de la Loire region
At the beginning of 2005, Metropolitan France had a labour force of 28 million. The active population, like the population in employment, has become feminised, is more qualified than in 1999 and is older. At the beginning of 2005, 72% of people of working age had a job or were looking for one. Differences between regions have remained the same: the Île-de-France, Alsace and Pays de la Loire regions have high employment and activity rates; regions in the north and south east of France have low activity rates and high unemployment rates. Employment rates are still far from those envisaged by the European Summit in Lisbon, especially for seniors (55-64 years).